For a Birthday

Cornelia Frances Bates, AET. 79

Long ago sweet song songs were sung 
Of fair ladies ever young;
Wearier wanderings over sea, 
Exile in sad lands and strange, 
Yet their beauty might not change. 
Not a single word is told 
Of a Helen who grows old;
Not her thousand sorrows dare
Dull the light of Deirdre’s hair;
Iseult, lovelier than report, 
Maiden. In her father’s court, 
Grown world-radiant shall be seen
Through all time, Iseult the Queen. 

Deirdre, Helen, Iseult are 
Fadeless, shining star by star;
If their poets I might bring,
Skilled to touch the harp and sing, 
Lady, I would bid them praise
Your brave crown of golden days;
Blithe and sweet their song should be, —
Song of her who graciously 
With each soft year younger grows,
As the earth with every rose. 

December 7, 1905

From The Poems of Sophie Jewett (Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1910) by Sophie Jewett. Copyright © Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. This poem is in the public domain.