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gives us no intimation ; and these pages commence with the birth of infancy, and close with the end of life, when takes place that birth yet to come, of which Sophocles declared his expectation in his last tragedy,-an idea that has been re-echoed through all the ages since by hosts of the greatest minds. Between these two momentous birthdays there are several periods whose anniversaries have for all of us, more or less, an affecting interest; whilst in the case of royal personages, that day on which they first entered upon the cares and grandeurs of sovereignty must always be a prominent anniversary of their lives.

And there is one day, figuratively so called, of unspeakable importance to all the denizens of a fallen world—“the new birth,” so solemnly appointed by our Saviour: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." This is celebrated here in the one joyful birthday of our redemption—that of the nativity and incarnation of Christ.

From this happy starting-point we trace the journey of life by the milestones, pausing here or there, by the principal stations, to consider the country we are travelling through, and that towards which we are hastening.

The very farthest limits of the journey measure for us but a hundred birthdays; and which of us

can hope to reach that? Threescore years and ten is the natural terminating point.

And such is human life ; so, gliding on,
It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone;
Yet is the tale, brief though it be, as strange,
As full, methinks, of wild and wondrous change,
As any that the wandering tribes require,
Stretch'd in the desert round their evening fire;
As any sung of old, in hall or bower,
To minstrel-harps at midnight's witching hour!

ROGERS. This strange“ tale that is told” is divided here into three parts—youth, middle age, and later life ; which mark the natural changes that present themselves to every eye, and are experienced by every one who lives to be old.

A word or two on the poems themselves. It has been said by an ancient writer, speaking of the lighter forms of poetry, “ These things commonly go under the title of poetical amusements, but these amusements have sometimes gained as much reputation to their authors as works of a more serious nature. It is surprising how much the mind is entertained and delighted by these little poetical, compositions, as they turn upon subjects of gallantry, satire, tenderness, politeness, and everything in short that concerns life and the affairs of the world.”

Our Book of Birthdays is, of course, principally occupied with these “poetical amusements," which

are of various degrees of literary merit, although none have been admitted that are not marked by refinement of feeling or of thought.

Thus the favour of the public is hoped for on a double basis. The poetry of human life here commends itself to all cultivated minds, whether they do or do not keep or enjoy actual birthdays; and the Book of Birthdays, as a collection of anniversary poetry never before brought together in a volume, must be acknowledged to be at once curious and of some permanent value.

M. B.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

Abide with Me .

210

Action

. Wilcox 106

Adieu to all that is Perishable in Love

. Campbell 179

Against Distrust of our Maker. . John Fletcher 104

Albert the Good . .

Tennyson

Angelo, Michael, Last Poems of .

. . . 234

Angels' Song, The · · · · · ini

Another Life Spring

Hood 197

Apparent Shortening of our Years.

Campbell 98

Aspirations of Youth . , James Montgomery

At South Kensington on the Prince Consort's Birthday

M. R. C. 266

Babe in the House, The.

Tupper 45

Bacon's, Lord, Sixtieth Birthday . . Ben Jonson 194

Baillie, To Miss Agnes, on her Birthday Joanna Baillie 204

Barbauld, Mrs., Death of · · · ; ;

Bark of Life, The . . . . . Kazineski 135

Birthday, The . . . . . . ; 240

Birthday Epigram . .

Hook

49

Birthday Epigram. .

Sir W. Jones 46

Birthday Epigram on late-acquired Wealth Cowper 195

Birthday Gift of a King of France

131

Birthday Gift, The . ..

. Landon 67

Birthday of a Conqueror . . . . Dryden 132

Birthday of Christ . .

· Tennyson 17

Birthday of Love, The . .

Cartwright 77

Birthday of the Soul in Love . . Bulwer Lytton 108

Birthday of the World .

Hood 139

Birthday Poem to Maria Brontë by her Husband. .

Birthday Reflections . . . . . Moore 228

Birthday Thought, A · · · · · ;

Birthday Verses:

· · Hood

të Micii

120

Birthday Verses to Miss Logan. . . Burns 80

Birthnight in Later Life .

. . 210

Bishop, To Mrs., on her Birthday Samuel Bishop 116

Blount, To Martha, on her Birthday . . Pope 78

Boundary of Middle Life, The . . . Burns 147

Burning Babe, The

Southwell

Burns's Sonnet on his Thirty-fourth Birthday . . 146

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are of various degrees of literary merit, although none have been admitted that are not marked by refinement of feeling or of thought.

Thus the favour of the public is hoped for on a double basis. The poetry of human life here commends itself to all cultivated minds, whether they do or do not keep or enjoy actual birthdays; and the Book of Birthdays, as a collection of anniversary poetry never before brought together in a volume, must be acknowledged to be at once curious and of some permanent value.

M. B.

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