A Birthday Greeting: To My Little Nephew

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July 4th 1886

I know a happy little boy,
They call him Charlie Gray,
Whose face is bright, because you know,
He's six years old to-day.

I scarce can think six years have passed
Since Charlie really came,
I well remember long ago,
We never heard his name.

But here he is, almost a man,
With knickerbockers on,
And baby dresses packed away,
You'll find them, every one.

And every year as time rolls on,
And Charlie's birthdays come,
The world goes out to celebrate
With banner, fife, and drum.

At sunrise on those happy days
The cannon's deaf'ning roar,
Reminded us that Charlie Gray
Was two, or three, or four.

But now those landmarks all are passed,
He's getting fast away,
The boy's a man, no baby now,
He's six years old to-day.

Just think of it, ye many friends
Who wish him worlds of joy,
That Charlie Gray is six to-day,
A patriotic boy.

And if he sometimes noisy grows,
What matter, if he's right?
Give me the boys that make a noise
And play with all their might.

I know 'tis whispered far and near,
That Charlie loves his way,
But I can tell of grown up men,
Who do the same to-day.

Who never yield or quit the field,
Can you blame Charlie then?
For most small boys will imitate
What's seen in grown up men.

And now good friends, I give you leave
To find him if you can,
Another boy, more glad with joy,
Than this brave little man.

Heigh ho! I still am in a maze,
To think he's six to-day,
Some other time I'll tell you more,
If-Charlie says I may.

© Annie McCarer Darlington