Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

A Birthday Present


```Say what, to please you, you would have me be.''
Then listen, dear!
I fain would have you very fair to see,
And sweet to hear.

`You should have Aphrodite's form and face,
With Dian's tread;
And something of Minerva's lofty grace
Should crown your head.

`Summer should wander in your voice, and Spring
Gleam in your gaze,
And pure thoughts ripen in your heart that bring
Calm Autumn days.

`Yours should be winning ways that make Love live,
And ne'er grow old,
With ever something yet more sweet to give,
Which you withhold.

`You should have generous hopes that can beguile
Life's doubts and fears,
And, ever waiting on your April smile,
The gift of tears.

`You should be close to us as earth and sea,
And yet as far
As Heaven itself. In sooth, I'd have you be
Just what you are.'

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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