Had a birthday yesterday.
First one for, I think, a year.
Won't have one again, they say,
Till another year is here.
Funny, don't you think so? I
Can't just understand now why.

Anyhow my birthday came;
And I had, oh! lots of things
Birthday gifts I just can't name,
Even count them: toys and rings;
Hoops and books and hats. Indeed,
Everything that I don't need.

What I wanted was n't suits;
Wooden toys and'Wonderland';
But a hoe to dig up roots;
And a spade to shovel sand;
Rake to rake where father said
He has made a flower-bed.

But I did n't get them; and
Did n't get a box of paints,
Which I wanted. I raised sand,
Till my mother said, 'My saints!
If you don't behave yourself,
Party'll be laid on the shelf.'

So I did behave, and played
With the little girls and boys,
Who just stayed and stayed and stayed,
Played with me and with my toys;
Broke some, too; but, never mind,
Had the best time of its kind.

Had the dinner then. I bet
Y' never saw a finer sight.
A big birthday cake was set,
Thick with icing, round and white,
In the centre of the table,
Looking all that it was able.

On it four pink candles burned:
And we had a lot of fun
When a little girl there turned,
Blew them out, yes, every one,
And I kissed her for it yes
And she liked it, too, I guess.

When I saw my father, why,
All the children then were gone;
Only child around was I.
I was playing on the lawn
By myself when father came,
And he kissed me just the same.

And I asked my father where
Do the birthdays come from, while
He sat in his rocking-chair,
Looking at me with a smile.
Then I asked him where they go
When they're gone. He did n't know.

More verses by Madison Julius Cawein