My Birthday. Who is this who gently slips
Through my door, and stands and sighs,
Hovering in a soft eclipse,
With a finger on her lips
And a meaning in her eyes?

Once she came to visit me
In white robes with festal airs,
Glad surprises, songs of glee;
Now in silence cometh she,
And a sombre garb she wears.

Once I waited and was tired,
Chid her visits as too few;
Crownless now and undesired,
She to seek me is inspired
Oftener than she used to do.

Grave her coming is and still,
Sober her appealing mien,
Tender thoughts her glances fill;
But I shudder, as one will
When an open grave is seen.

Wherefore, friend,--for friend thou art,--
Should I wrong thee thus and grieve?
Wherefore push thee from my heart?
Of my morning thou wert part;
Be a part too of my eve.

See, I hold my hand to meet
That cool, shadowy hand of thine;
Hold it firmly, it is sweet
Thus to clasp and thus to greet,
Though no more in full sunshine.

Come and freely seek my door,
I will open willingly;
I will chide the past no more,
Looking to the things before,
Led by pathways known to thee.

My Birthday. by Susan Coolidge