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BIRTH-DAY VERSES.

“The heart that we have lain near before our birth is the only one that cannot forget that it hath loved us."

PHILIP SLINGSBY.

My birthday !—Oh beloved mother!
· My heart is with thee o’er the seas.
I did not think to count another

Before I wept upon thy knees-
Before this scroll of absent years
Was blotted with thy streaming tears.

My own I do not care to check.

I weep-albeit here alone

As if I hung upon thy neck,

As if thy lips were on my own, As if this full, sad heart of mine, Were beating closely upon thine.

Four weary years! How looks she now?

What light is in those tender eyes ?
What trace of time has touch'd the brow

Whose look is borrow'd of the skies
That listen to her nightly prayer ?
How is she changed since he was there
Who sleeps upon her heart alway-

Whose name upon her lips is worn-
For whom the night seems made to pray-

For whom she wakes to pray at mornWhose sight is dim, whose heart-strings stir, Who weeps these tears—to think of her!

I know not if my mother's eyes

Would find me chang’d in slighter things ; I've wandered beneath many skies,

And tasted of some bitter springs ; And many leaves, once fair and gay,

From youth's full flower have dropp'd away,
But, as these looser leaves depart,

The lessen'd flower gets near the core,
And, when deserted quite, the heart

Takes closer what was dear of yore

And yearns to those who lov'd it firstThe sunshine and the dew by which its bud was nurst.

Dear mother! dost thou love me yet?

Am I remember'd in my home ?
When those I love for joy are met,

Does some one wish that I would come ?
Thou dostI am belov'd of these!.

But, as the schoolboy numbers o'er
Night after night the Pleiades

And finds the stars he found before,
As turns the maiden oft her token,

As counts the miser aye his gold-
So, till life's silver chord is broken,

Would I of thy fond love be told.

My heart is full, mine eyes are wetDear mother! dost thou love thy long-lost wanderer

yet ?

Oh! when the hour to meet again

Creeps on, and, speeding o'er the sea, My heart takes up its lengthen’d chain,

And, link by link, draws nearer theeWhen land is hailed, and, from the shore,

Comes off the blessed breath of home,
With fragrance from my mother's door
Of flowers forgotten when I come-
When port is gain'd, and, slowly now,

The old familiar paths are past,
And, entering, unconscious how,

I gaze upon thy face at last,
And run to thee, all faint and weak,
And feel thy tears upon my cheek-

Oh! if my heart break not with joy,
The light of heaven will fairer seem;

And I shall grow once more a boy : And, mother !—'twill be like a dream

That we were parted thus for years— And once that we have dried our tears,

How will the days seem long and brightTo meet thee always with the morn,

And hear thy blessing every night

Thy " dearest,” thy“ first-born!”_ And be no more as now in a strange land, forlorn !

London, January 20th, 1835.

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