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BIRTHDAY
[ Also see Age Babyhood Birth Celebration Holidays Life ]

A birthday:--and now a day that rose
  With much of hope, with meaning rife--
    A thoughtful day from dawn to close:
      The middle day of human life.
      - Jean Ingelow, A Birthday Walk

And show me your nest with the young ones in it,
  I will not steal them away;
    I am old! you may trust me, linnet, linnet--
      I am seven time one to-day.
      - Jean Ingelow,
        Songs of Seven--Seven Times One

As this auspicious day began the race
  Of ev'ry virtue join'd with ev'ry grace;
    May you, who own them, welcome its return,
      Till excellence, like yours, again is born.
        The years we wish, will half your charms impair;
          The years we wish, the better half will spare;
            The victims of your eyes will bleed no more,
              But all the beauties of your mind adore.
      - Lord Francis Jeffrey,
        Miscellanies--To a Lady on her Birthday

The day
  For whose returns, and many, all these pray;
    And so do I.
      - Ben Jonson

Believing hear, what you deserve to hear:
  Your birthday as my own to me is dear.
    Blest and distinguish'd days! which we should prize
      The first, the kindest bounty of the skies.
        But yours gives most; for mine did only lend
          Me to the world; yours gave to me a friend.
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. IX, ep. 53)

My birthday!--what a different sound
  That word had in my youthful ears;
    And how each time the day comes round,
      Less and less white its mark appears.
      - Thomas Moore, My Birthday

Oh! be thou blest with all that Heaven can send,
  Long health, long youth, long pleasure--and a friend.
      - Alexander Pope

Pleas'd to look forward, pleas'd to look behind,
  And count each birthday with a grateful mind.
      - Alexander Pope

Is that a birthday? 'tis, alas! too clear;
  'Tis but the funeral of the former year.
      - Alexander Pope, To Mrs. M.B. (l. 9)

And more such days as these to us befall!
      - William Shakespeare

And send him many years of sunshine days!
      - William Shakespeare

Heaven give you many, many merry days!
      - William Shakespeare

This day shall change all griefs and quarrels into love.
      - William Shakespeare

The birth of a child is the imprisonment of a soul.
      - William Gilmore Simms


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