Mary Mapes Dodge



A Birthday Rhyme.

by Mary Mapes Dodge

Tell me, O youth so straight and tall,
So glad with eager thought!
Have you seen of late a bouncing boy
Brimful of merry sport?
Brimful of merry sport is he,
A lad of fifteen summers,
With velvet lip still smooth and fair,
But a fist that awes all comers.

He used to laugh with unconcern
Whene'er a school-girl met him,
Unconscious quite what wondrous power
She'd have in time to fret him.
Hle only cared for fellows then,
And ball, and tag, and shinny,
And thought a chap who brushed his hair
Was just a fop or ninny.

Somehow, I loved this bouncing boy,
Because he was my own;
I had him here a year ago,
And don't know where he's flown.
I don't know where he's flown, and yet
Whenever you are near ---
It's very odd! -- I'm reconciled,
Because you grow so dear.

You bear great likeness to my boy
I think, and -- strange the whim! ---
There's that in you which I have prayed
Might come in time to him.
Then if you'll stay, my dashing youth,
And love me, like the other,
I'll let him go, and, clasping you,
Be still a happy mother.

So hold me close, my bigger boy,
My larger-hearted Harry,
With broader shoulders, older head,
And more of life to carry;
Hold close, and whisper, heart to heart,
Our Lord has blessed us truly,
Since every year we love so well,
And find it out so newly.

With deepened joy and prayerful love
All in the autumn's splendor,
I hail you, boy of mine, and give
A welcome proud and tender.
'Tis grand to take the birthdays in,
If, while the years we're counting,
In heart and soul, in hope and aim,
We steadily keep mounting.


Rhymes And Jingles
Copyright 1875
Scribner, Armstrong, And Company