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With this we may well contrast


Long-expected One-and-twenty !

Ling'ring year, at length is flown:
Pride and pleasure, pomp and plenty,

Great Sir John are now your own.
Loosen'd from the minor's tether,

Free to mortgage or to sell,
Wild as wind, and light as feather,

Bid the sons of thrift farewell.
Call the Betseys, Kates, and Jennies,

All the names that banish care;
Lavish of your grandsire's guineas,

Show the spirit of an heir.
All that prey on vice and folly

Joy to see their quarry fly;
There the gamester; light and jolly,

There the lender, grave and sly.
Wealth, my lad, was made to wander,

Let it wander as it will:
Call the jockey, call the pander,

Bid them come and take their fill.
When the bonny blade carouses,

Pockets full and spirits high,
What are acres ? what are houses ?

Only dirt, or wet, or dry.
Should the guardian, friend, or mother

Tell the woes of wilful waste :
Scorn their counsels, scorn their pother,

You can hang or drown at last.



This lively satirical effusion was recited with great spirit by Dr. Johnson on his death-bed, when he said that he had composed it some years before, on the occasion of a rich, extravagant young gentleman coming of age. He had never repeated it but once before, and had never given but one copy of it.

That copy was sent to Mrs. Thrale on the 8th of August, 1780, enclosed in a letter in which Dr. Johnson writes :

“ You have heard in the papers how Sir John Lade is come to age. I have enclosed a short song of congratulation, which you must not show to anybody. I hope you will read it with candour. It is, I believe, one of the author's first essays in that way of writing, and a beginner is always to be treated with tenderness.”

Another of Dr. Johnson's birthday effusions was a Greek epigram, sent to Cave, of the Gentleman's Magazine. It was written in honour of the twentyfirst birthday of the learned and pious Miss Carter, for whom Dr. Johnson had a profound and steady friendship extending over fifty years. He told Cave that she ought to be celebrated in as many languages as Louis le Grand.

A very different style of poem “On Coming of Age,” is that by Mrs. Hemans:




fair and gay,


While Hope, the syren
Tells of some future happy day,
Let Pleasure with benignant power,
The empress of the social hour,
Smile on the day to love so dear,
And smile more softly through a tear.

Yet, while on fancy's raptured sight
Beam the sweet visions of delight,
For thee Affection fondly sighs,
And fears and doubtful wishes rise ;
Yet lovely Hope again appears,
And lifts the veil of distant years.

For thee, she sings, shall fancy bloom,
And love the path of life illume;
For thee shall Health her roses shed,
And glory's laurels twine thy head;
Then Joy shall drop a precious tear,
To hail the gallant Fusileer.

The crowning glory and joy of Early Life is

Oh, sweet is Love! O vision bright,

When it doth two fond hearts enfold:
Sweet as the birth of morning light,

When sunlit waters flow like gold.
Sweet as when in the gloom of night

The pilgrim walks in fear untold,
The moon at once, in fullest light,

Bursteth upon the silent wold.
Love is the gay and gentle page
Of golden youth and silver'd age:
It clotheth all in fair array;
It maketh darkness seem as day ;
And, with a soft and starry ray,
It lighteth Hope upon her way!

Lovers' serenades were formerly very popular in England early on birthday mornings. This is by

. Thomas Heywood, 1607 —

Pack, clouds, away, and welcome day,

With night we banish sorrow;
Sweet air, blow soft; mount, larks, aloft,

To give my love good-morrow!
Wings from the wind to please her mind,

Notes from the lark I'll borrow;
Bird, plume thy wing; nightingale sing,

To give my love good-morrow!

Wake from thy nest, robin redbreast,
Sing, birds, in every furrow;

And from each hill let music shrill

Give my fair love good-morrow!
Blackbird and thrush in every bush,

Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow,
You pretty elves, among yourselves,

Sing my fair love good-morrow!

One of the royalist poets of the reign of Charles the First, William Cartwright,- of whom Ben

Jonson said, “My son Cartwright writes all like a man,” and for whose early death King Charles the First mourned-wrote the following thoughtful stanzas, intended to prove that there can be no real disparity of age where true love exists—the birthday of love being the true measure of the age of lovers.

There are two births; the one when light

First strikes the new awaken'd sense ;
The other when two souls unite;

And we must count our life from thence.
When you
loved me,

and I loved you,
Then both of us were born anew.

Love, then, to us did new souls give,

And in those souls did plant new powers ; Since when another life we live,

The breath we breathe is His, not ours;
Love makes those



doth chill, Whom he finds

young, he keeps young still.

Love, like that angel that shall call

Our boaies from the silent grave, Unto one age doth raise us all ;

None too much, none too little have; Nay, that the difference may


none, He makes two not alike, but one.

Pope has left us a perfect model of an elegant birthday poem to a young lady. A very original and striking reflection on birthdays is comprised within the first ten lines. To the subject of this poem Pope left in his will “one thousand pounds immediately on my decease; and all the furniture of my grotto, urns in my garden, household goods, chattels, plate, or whatever is not otherwise disposed of in this my will, I give and devise to the said Mrs. Martha Blount, out of a sincere regard and long friendship for her.”


TO MARTHA BLOUNT, ON HER BIRTHDAY. Oh be thou blest with all that Heaven can send, Long health, long youth, long pleasure, and a

friend : Not with those toys the female world admireRiches that vex, and vanities that tire. With added years, if life bring nothing new But like a sieve let every blessing through,


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