Sonnet On The Author’s Birthday

Sing on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough
Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain,
See aged winter amid his surly reign
At thy blythe carol, clears his furrowed brow.
So in lone poverty, dominion drear,
Sits meek content with light, unanxious heart;
Welcomes the rapid moments, bids them part,
Nor asks if they bring output to hope or fear.
I hand thee, Author of this opening day!
Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies!
Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys
What wealth could never give nor take away.
Yet come, thou child of poverty and care,
the mite high bestowed that mite with thee share.

rObErt bUrNs


On His Being Arrived At The Age Of 23

How soon hath time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth
That I to manhood am arrived so near,
An inward ripeness doth much less appear
That some more timely happy spirits indueth.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot however mean or high,
Toward which time lends me and the will of heaven.
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great taskmaster’s eye.

joHn miLtoN


On His Thirtieth Year

And here is the remake of something that I wrote two years ago, this very day. Hopefully I did justice to poetry!

This day I welcome my thirtieth year,
How then should I pencil my life in brief?
Perhaps with sadness or unending grief,
Or perhaps with hopelessness and great fear!
My heart commands me to shed a little tear
And watch that which slowly wilts like a leaf
And embrace the age which takes like a thief;
I shall with most that be denied compare.
Let me now gauge my thoughts, my speech and speed,
And switch my brains in advance for manhood,
And once more stare my youth before I leap-
My careless days, my toil, my sweat and blood.
My mind is ripe, my soul bold. I proceed
With my stay. I mingle with time before I sleep.



On My Thirty-Seventh Birthday

‘Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it has ceased to move
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!

My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!

The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle!
No torch is kindled at its blaze,
A funeral pile!

The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.

But ’tis not thus- and ’tis not here-
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now
Where glory decks the hero’s bier,
Or binds his brow.

The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around me see!
The Spartan, borne upon his shield
Was not more free.

Awake! (not Greece-she is awake! )
Awake my spirit! Thine through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home.

Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood unto thee
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.

If thou regrett’st thy youth, why live?
The land of honorable death
Is here: – up to the field, and give
Away thy breath!

Seek out- less often sought than found-
A soldier’s grave, for thee the best:
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest.

loRd byRoN