Watch Birth And Death

Watch birth and death:
The lotus has already
Opened its flower.


Translated by Soiku Shigematsu

by Natsume Sōseki.

The Angel That Presided O'Er My Birth

The Angel that presided o'er my birth
Said, 'Little creature, form'd of Joy and Mirth,
'Go love without the help of any Thing on Earth.'

by William Blake.

A Birth-Day Wish

Who know thee, love: thy life be such
That, ere the year be o'er,
Each one who loves thee now so much,
Even God, may love thee more!

by George MacDonald.

On My Thirty-Third Birthday, January 22, 1821

Through life's dull road, so dim and dirty,
I have dragg'd to three-and-thirty.
What have these years left to me?
Nothing--except thirty-three.

by George Gordon Byron.

On The Birth Of John William Rizzo Hoppner

His father's sense, his mother's grace,
In him I hope, will always fit so;
With--still to keep him in good case--
The health and appetite of Rizzo.

by George Gordon Byron.

Birth-Day Ode 01

O my faithful Friend!
O early chosen, ever found the same,
And trusted and beloved! once more the verse
Long destin'd, always obvious to thine ear,
Attend indulgent.

by Robert Southey.

On His Seventy-Fifth Birthday

I strove with none; for none was worth my strife,
Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life,
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.

by Walter Savage Landor.

On His Eightieth Birthday

To my ninth decade I have tottered on,
And no soft arm bends now my steps to steady;
She, who once led me where she would, is gone,
So when he calls me, Death shall find me ready.

by Walter Savage Landor.

I have a sister whom God gave to me;
He formed her out of trouble and the mists of the sea.
Like Aphrodite, she came to me full-grown.
Oh, I am blest forever with a sister of my own.

by Lesbia Harford.

Friend of Ronsard, Nashe, and Beaumont,
Lark of Ulster, Meath, and Thomond,
Heard from Smyrna and Sahara
To the surf of Connemara,
Lark of April, June, and May,
Sing loudly this my Lady-day.

by John Millington Synge.

On The Birth Of His Son

Families, when a child is born
Want it to be intelligent.
I, through intelligence,
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he will crown a tranquil life
By becoming a Cabinet Minister.

by Su Tung-po.

To Miss C-----, On Her Birthday

How many between east and west,
Disgrace their parent earth,
Whose deeds constrain us to detest
The day that gave them birth!
Not so when Stella's natal morn
Revolving months restore,
We can rejoice that she was born
And wish her born once more!

by William Cowper.

Birth Of Love, The

God made the world and found it ‘good’.
An Angel Him beside
Wept softly, and, to question, said
‘For what Thou hast denied.’

‘And that? ’ God asked him tenderly,
‘What is the lack thereof? ’
‘Its Soul’- the Angle made reply
And God created Love.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Blind From My Birth

Blind from my birth,
Where flowers are springing
I sit on earth
All dark.
Hark! hark!
A lark is singing.
His notes are all for me,
For me his mirth: -
Till some day I shall see
Beautiful flowers
And birds in bowers
Where all Joy Bells are ringing.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Hope Is Like A Harebell Trembling From Its Birth

Hope is like a harebell trembling from its birth,
Love is like a rose the joy of all the earth;
Faith is like a lily lifted high and white,
Love is like a lovely rose the world's delight;
Harebells and sweet lilies show a thornless growth,
But the rose with all its thorns excels them both.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

On Mrs Mendez' Birthday, Who Was Born On Valentine's Day

Thine is the gentle day of love,
When youths and virgins try their fate;
When, deep retiring to the grove,
Each feathered songster weds his mate.

With tempered beams the skies are bright,
Earth decks in smiles her pleasing face;
Such is the day that gave thee light,
And speaks as such thy every grace.

by James Thomson.

On The Birth Of A Friend's Child

Mark the day white, on which the Fates have smiled:
Eugenio and Egeria have a child.
On whom abundant grace kind Jove imparts
If she but copy either parent's parts.
Then, Muses! long devoted to her race,
Grant her Egeria's virtues and her face;
Nor stop your bounty there, but add to it
Eugenio's learning and Eugenio's wit.

by Ernest Christopher Dowson.

Birthday Talk For A Child

(IRIS.)

DADDY dear, I'm only four
And I'd rather not be more:
Four's the nicest age to be--
Two and two, or one and three.

All I love is two and two,
Mother, Fabian, Paul and you;
All you love is one and three,
Mother, Fabian, Paul and me.

Give your little girl a kiss
Because she learned and told you this.

by Edith Nesbit.

Birthday Lines For K.B.

Life is a Poem, short or long,
A dismal Dirge, or jovial Song,
A Psalm of faith, or Lay of Pride,
One stanza by each year supplied.

And thy sweet Hymn of love and truth,
A carol of unfading youth,
Which God hath given thee to rehearse,
Enlightening others' chequered way,
Is strengthened by a further verse
Upon the gracious April day.

by Joseph Furphy.

On My Mother's Birthday

Clad in all their brightest green,
This day verdant fields are seen;
The tuneful birds begin their lay,
To celebrate thy natal day.

The breeze is still, the sea is calm
And the whole scene combines to charm;
The flowers revive this charming May,
Because it is thy natal day.

The sky is blue, the day serene,
And only pleasure now is seen;
The rose, the pink, the tulip gay,
Combine to bless thy natal day.

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

The Birth Of Virtue

When, long ago, the young world circling flew
Through wider reaches of a richer blue,
New-eyed, the men and maids saw, manifest,
The thoughts untold in one another's breast:
Each wish displayed, and every passion learned
A look revealed them as a look discerned.
But sating Time with clouds o'ercast their eyes;
Desire was hidden, and the lips framed lies.
A goddess then, emerging from the dust,
Fair Virtue rose, the daughter of Distrust.

by Ambrose Bierce.

Birthday Verses

Good morrow to the golden morning,
Good morrow to the world's delight—
I've come to bless thy life's beginning,
Since it makes my own so bright!
I have brought no roses, sweetest,
I could find no flowers, dear,—
It was when all sweets were over
Thou wert born to bless the year.
But I've brought thee jewels, dearest,
In thy bonny locks to shine,—
And if love shows in their glances,
They have learn'd that look of mine!

by Thomas Hood.

The Birth Place Of Pleasure

At the creation of the Earth
Pleasure, that divinest birth,
From the soil of Heaven did rise,
Wrapped in sweet wild melodies--
Like an exhalation wreathing
To the sound of air low-breathing
Through Aeolian pines, which make
A shade and shelter to the lake
Whence it rises soft and slow;
Her life-breathing [limbs] did flow
In the harmony divine
Of an ever-lengthening line
Which enwrapped her perfect form
With a beauty clear and warm.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Birth And Death

Birth and death, twin-sister and twin-brother,
Night and day, on all things that draw breath,
Reign, while time keeps friends with one another
Birth and death.

Each brow-bound with flowers diverse of wreath,
Heaven they hail as father, earth as mother,
Faithful found above them and beneath.

Smiles may lighten tears, and tears may smother
Smiles, for all that joy or sorrow saith:
Joy nor sorrow knows not from each other
Birth and death.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

Death And Birth

Death and birth should dwell not near together:
Wealth keeps house not, even for shame, with dearth:
Fate doth ill to link in one brief tether
Death and birth.

Harsh the yoke that binds them, strange the girth
Seems that girds them each with each: yet whether
Death be best, who knows, or life on earth?

Ill the rose-red and the sable feather
Blend in one crown's plume, as grief with mirth:
Ill met still are warm and wintry weather,
Death and birth.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

Song Composed For Washington's Birthday

A hundred years and more ago
A little child was born --
To-day, with pomp of martial show,
We hail his natal morn.

Who guessed as that poor infant wept
Upon a woman's knee,
A nation from the centuries stept
As weak and frail as he?

Who saw the future on his brow
Upon that happy morn?
We are a mighty nation now
Because that child was born.

To him, and to his spirit's scope,
Besides a glorious home,
We owe that what we have and hope
Are more than Greece and Rome.

by Henry Timrod.

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

O. W. Holmes On His Eightieth Birth-Day

Climbing a path which leads back never more
We heard behind his footsteps and his cheer;
Now, face to face, we greet him standing here
Upon the lonely summit of Fourscore
Welcome to us, o'er whom the lengthened day
Is closing and the shadows colder grow,
His genial presence, like an afterglow,
Following the one just vanishing away.
Long be it ere the table shall be set
For the last breakfast of the Autocrat,
And love repeat with smiles and tears thereat
His own sweet songs that time shall not forget.
Waiting with us the call to come up higher,
Life is not less, the heavens are only higher!

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

True Fulfillment Of My Birth

True fulfillment of my birth is in loving my beloved forever!
Never with dry rituals and harsh austerities
Would I torture my tender body!
All the time I'd play the games of love with my beloved!
True fulfillment of my birth is in loving my beloved forever!

When the final liberation waits on me like a menial servant,
Why should I worship someone else?
True fulfillment of my birth is in loving my beloved forever!

In all our births to come we will ever be your servants!
And the divinel eel a of Narsaiyya's lord we will sing forever!
True fulfillment of my birth is in loving my beloved forever!

by Narsinh Mehta.

Sonnet Xv: The Birth-Bond

Have you not noted, in some family
Where two were born of a first marriage-bed,
How still they own their gracious bond, though fed
And nursed on the forgotten breast and knee?—
How to their father's children they shall be
In act and thought of one goodwill; but each
Shall for the other have, in silence speech,
And in a word complete community?
Even so, when first I saw you, seemed it, love,
That among souls allied to mine was yet
One nearer kindred than life hinted of.
O born with me somewhere that men forget,
And though in years of sight and sound unmet,
Known for my soul's birth-partner well enough!

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

To Tochterchen: On Her Birthday

As one doth touch a flower wherein the dew
Trembles to fall, as one unplaits the ply
Of morning gossamer, so tenderly
My spirit touches thine. Yet, daughter true
And fair, great Launcelot's mighty nerve and thew
Best clove a king or caught a butterfly,
(Since each extreme is perfect mastery
-Accurate cause repaid in the fine due
Of just effect-) and, child, it should be so
With Love. The same that nicely plundereth
The honeyed zephyrs for thy cates and wine
Should train thee with the tasks of toil and woe,
Or hold thee against adverse life and death,
Or give thee from my breast to dearer arms than mine.

by Sydney Thompson Dobell.

Sonnet, For My Mother’s Birthday

AT thy approach, oh, sweet bewitching May!
Through ev'ry wood soft melodies resound;
On silken wings Favonian breezes play,
And scatter bloom and fragrance all around!

Yet not for these I hail thy gentle reign,
And rove enchanted through thy fairy bow'rs;
Not for thy warbled songs, thy zephyr-train,
Nor all the incense of thy glowing flow'rs.

For this to thee I pour the artless lay,
Oh, lovely May! thou goddess of the grove!
With thee returns the smiling natal day,
Of her, who claims my fond, my filial love!
Bright as thy sun-beams may it still appear,
Calm as thy skies, unclouded with a tear!

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

When you were born, beloved, was your soul
New made by God to match your body's flower,
And were they both at one same precious hour
Sent forth from heaven as a perfect whole?
Or had your soul since dim creation burned,
A star in some still region of the sky,
That leaping earthward, left its place on high
And to your little new-born body yearned?
No words can tell in what celestial hour
God made your soul and gave it mortal birth,
Nor in the disarray of all the stars
Is any place so sweet that such a flower
Might linger there until thro' heaven's bars,
It heard God's voice that bade it down to earth.

by Sara Teasdale.

Birth And Death.

I who have known thee, Birth, must know Death too:
As old, old men their children's children fold
In their gaunt arms, and though their blood be cold
Feel their own youth burn in them as they view
The features that were theirs — each sign so true
To their own breath and blood, 'tis as retold
Their very youth was, when they are so old,
By those who nothing of their childhood knew.
So even Death but a new birth may be,
And in some other star beyond to-day,
When we have put the use of Earth away,
E'en like those old men's children's children we
May see ourselves rise from our own decay,
The very offspring of our verity.

by Robert Crawford.

Sonnet To A Young Lady On Her Birth-Day

Deem not, sweet rose, that bloom'st 'midst many a thorn,
Thy friend, tho' to a cloister's shade consign'd,
Can e'er forget the charms he left behind,
Or pass unheeded this auspicious morn!
In happier days to brighter prospects born,
O tell thy thoughtless sex, the virtuous mind,
Like thee, content in every state may find,
And look on Folly's pageantry with scorn.
To steer with nicest art betwixt th' extreme
Of idle mirth, and affectation coy;
To blend good sense with elegance and ease;
To bid Affliction's eye no longer stream;
Is thine; best gift, the unfailing source of joy,
The guide to pleasures which can never cease!

by William Cowper.

Impromptu On Mrs. Riddell's Birthday

OLD Winter, with his frosty beard,
Thus once to Jove his prayer preferred:
"What have I done of all the year,
To bear this hated doom severe?
My cheerless suns no pleasure know;
Night's horrid car drags, dreary slow;
My dismal months no joys are crowning,
But spleeny English hanging, drowning.


"Now Jove, for once be mighty civil.
To counterbalance all this evil;
Give me, and I've no more to say,
Give me Maria's natal day!
That brilliant gift shall so enrich me,
Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot match me."
"'Tis done!" says Jove; so ends my story,
And Winter once rejoiced in glory.

by Robert Burns.

Sonnet Ii: Bridal Birth

As when desire, long darkling, dawns, and first
The mother looks upon the newborn child,
Even so my Lady stood at gaze and smiled
When her soul knew at length the Love it nurs'd.
Born with her life, creature of poignant thirst
And exquisite hunger, at her heart Love lay
Quickening in darkness, till a voice that day
Cried on him, and the bonds of birth were burst.
Now, shadowed by his wings, our faces yearn
Together, as his full-grown feet now range
The grove, and his warm hands our couch prepare:
Till to his song our bodiless souls in turn
Be born his children, when Death's nuptial change
Leaves us for light the halo of his hair.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

A Birthday Gift

No gift I bring but worship, and the love
Which all must bear to lovely souls and pure,
Those lights, that, when all else is dark, endure;
Stars in the night, to lift our eyes above;

To lift our eyes and hearts, and make us move
Less doubtful, though our journey be obscure,
Less fearful of its ending, being sure
That they watch over us, where'er we rove.

And though my gift itself have little worth,
Yet worth it gains from her to whom `tis given,
As a weak flower gets colour from the sun.
Or rather, as when angels walk the earth,
All things they look on take the look of heaven -
For of those blessed angels thou art one.

by Robert Fuller Murray.

Sonnet 91: Some Glory In Their Birth, Some In Their Skill

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body's force,
Some in their garments though new-fangled ill,
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest,
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' costs,
Of more delight than hawks and horses be;
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast—
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take,
All this away and me most wretched make.

by William Shakespeare.

A Birthday Rhyme

So glide the days, dear! Dawn will not delay,
Noontide will come, nor linger in its flight;
And even-time in turn must pass away
Into the darkness of a dreamless night.
Hold fast, Beloved, thy season of delight:
Make merry while the morning gilds the sky,
And dews undried upon the roses lie;
Thy golden morn of May-time, brief as bright.
For labor waits; and cares thou canst not miss;
Grief for thy gladness, and for laughter, tears.
Ah, love! if only love might spare thee this-
Might hold a little farther off the years! -
A little longer bind thy winged feet,
O youth, -most swift in passing, and most sweet!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.