"To A Brother." by Jane Taylor (1783-1824)
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.
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.