"To the Same, on her Birth-day." by Jane Taylor (1783-1824)
WITH garlands of primroses crowned,
And smiling through eloquent tears–
Her violets springing around,
Sweet April returning appears:
Though showers have darkened her changeable sky
To me she is fairer than blooming July.
For sparkling with sunbeams I see,
In April's fair retinue here,
What still is accounted by me
The loveliest day in the year:
And soft gratulations shall ever ascend,
To welcome the morning that gave me a friend.
But what to that morning I owe,
Which dawned on my infantile state–
What blessings it came to bestow–
What light it has shed on my fate–
What sweet it has yielded, what balm for distress;
I ask not the language of song to express.
Hope, joy, consolation and peace,
That day on my infancy beamed:
My smiles bade it welcome–and these,
Prophetic of happiness seemed:
And might not the tears which unconsciously fell,
Possess a significant meaning as well!
O friend of my bosom! I stray
Through life's chequered valleys with thee:
If clouds ever darken thy way,
Their shadows must fall upon me:
While stars that illumine thy pilgrimage, shine,
With beams of encouraging mercy on mine.
Then whether it enter arrayed
In all the fair colors of spring,
Or wrapped in as hoary a shade
As winterly tempests can bring,
This day to my heart will for ever appear
The brightest, the loveliest day in the year.