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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

George Meason Whicher (1860–1937)

For a November Birthday

WHEN first our rose of love disclosed its heart,

Thy natal day (I thought) comes with the spring,

When from the sky the doubting clouds depart,

And rare, rathe blossoms o’er the woodland fling

A mystic sense of joy.
Yet bitter tears

Will start unbidden at the touch of May.

Love’s ecstasy begets love’s longing and love’s fears,

And naught of these may mar thy natal day.

When I had learned the richness of thy gift,

Surely the happy month (I thought) is June,

When full and strong the waves of life uplift

The heart upon their surges.
Yet too soon

The ebbing tide will leave the lonely shore;

Full soon the rose must let her beauty fall;

Love’s torch will burn to ashes. But no more

May any change our changeless love befall.

Lo! spring and summer faded, and the year

In all their sunny round brought not the morn;

But now, ’mid autumn’s melancholy cheer,

’Mid soughing boughs and pallid light, ’tis born.

So drear, thou sayest?
—Love may the clouds dispel.

So brief?
—With eve our passion shall not cease.

So still?
—Oh let the day this message tell:

Not rapture is love’s crowning gift, but peace.