To a Poet on His Birthday, February 27

O SINGER, musical and strong,
Why should a faint and faltering line
Seek through the happy realms of song
To celebrate thy voice divine ?
The tribute bears its own reply,
And speaks for many a voiceless one,
Of hearts disburdened of a sigh
Wherever thy brave accents run ;
And blessing brings for youthful hours,
When maidens dreamed their early dreams,
And boys awakened, crowned with flowers,
Plucked walking by thy sunlit streams ;
For all of Nature’s pictured calm,
The children’s hour, the fireside scene,
For our frail lives’ undying psalm.
And wandering sweet Evangeline ;
Praises for all; yet first for thee,
O lover with the kindling eye !
Quick to discern the minstrelsy
Where planets sway and star-fires die.
O prophet of a nobler world !
Thy song shall cheer the hill and plain,
Till sunset’s glowing wings are furled
On faded joys and vanished pain.