A Birthday Poem from 1846

Another poem published in the Port Tobacco Times on April 2, 1846.  This time it’s a birthday poem from one reader to another.

To Miss N. G. H… of Charles County,

On her Birth-day:
Written in her Album, March 31, 1846.

Permit me on thy natal day
A few instructive words to say
That shall remember’d be;
They may not please thy gentle ear,
But Friendship prompts the line sincere
I dedicate to thee.

May each returning birth-day find
My youthful friend improv’d in mind,
In form, and graces too!
And should this Album’s well-filled page,
In years to come, thine eye engage,
These sentiments review.

For on its leaves will Flat’ry breathe,
And Love, in specious numbers, wreathe
His sweet romantic line;
Thy manners gentle and refined
No cynic will deny.

But pride and self-importance come
Thro’ Flat’ry’s soft and specious tone,
And Love itself deceive;
Then let a stranger minstrel dare
To breath upon this leaf – Beware!
Nor all thy credence give.

As I have seen so thou mayst see,
Thy fairest acts may question’d be,
And friends belov’d may frown’
But if thy conscience still is pure,
Their malice thou canst well endure
And live their slander down.

‘Tis well that trials here should come,
We would forget ‘twas not our home,
That we must pass away:
‘Tis well the world is not too fair,
Our heart and treasure being there,
We’d cease to watch and pray.

Then, tho’ the world each moment claim,
Let virtue be thy surest aim,
Tho’ fashion may entice’
Tho’ gems of earth may glitter round,
Stay not, sweet girl, till thou has found
The “pearl of greater price.”

H. C.

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