Henry Kendall (18 April 1839 – 1 August 1882 / Ulladulla, New South Wales)
A Birthday Trifle
Here in this gold-green evening end,
While air is soft and sky is clear,
What tender message shall I send
To her I hold so dear?
What rose of song with breath like myrrh,
And leaf of dew and fair pure beams
Shall I select and give to her—
The lady of my dreams?
Alas! the blossom I would take,
The song as sweet as Persian speech,
And carry for my lady’s sake,
Is not within my reach.
I have no perfect gift of words,
Or I would hasten now to send
A ballad full of tunes of birds
To please my lovely friend.
But this pure pleasure is my own,
That I have power to waft away
A hope as bright as heaven’s zone
On this her natal day.
May all her life be like the light
That softens down in spheres divine,
“As lovely as a Lapland night,”
All grace and chastened shine!
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