A Celebration of Women Writers

"To A Brother." by Jane Taylor (1783-1824)
Publication: The Writings of Jane Taylor, In Five Volumes by Jane Taylor. Volume I, Memoirs and Poetical Remains.. Edited by Isaac Taylor, Jr., of Stanford Rivers. Boston: Perkins & Marvin, 1832. pp. 328-329.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

TO A BROTHER,

ON HIS BIRTH-DAY.

DEAR brother, while weaving your birth-day address,
  I cannot but wish you were here;
For what the true feeling of love can express,
  So well as a smile and a tear?

The tear, should it fall on the track of my pen,
  May wash its effusions away:
The smile–give me credit till Christmas, for then
  I know I can promise to pay.

And why should I try in a song to enclose
  What never in language was dressed?
Away with the Muse, when the heart overflows,
  For silence expresses it best.

[Page 329] 

A sister's affection, the hope and the fear
  That flutter by turns in her heart,
When a brother sets out on his stormy career,
  What magic of words can impart?

Then why any more of such rhyming as this,
  At which all the critics might laugh?
And why, when a smile, and a tear, and a kiss,
  Would tell it you better by half?

  October 9, 1809.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom