To A Beautiful Child On Her Birthday With A Wreath Of Flowers

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Whilst others give thee wond’rous toys,
  Or jewels rich and rare,
I bring but flowers—more meet are they
  For one so young and fair.

’Tis not because that snowy brow
  Might with the lily vie,
Or violet match the starry glance
  Of that dark, lustrous eye;

Nor yet because a brighter blush
  E’en rose leaf never wore,
But ’tis that in their leaves lies hid
  A rare and mystic lore.

And with its aid I now shall form
  A wreath of flow’rets wild—
Graceful, and full of meaning sweet,
  To deck thy brow, fair child!

The primrose, first, the emblem fit
  Of budding, early youth;
The daisy in whose leaves we read
  Pure innocence and truth.

The rosebud, sign of youthful charms,
  We well may give to thee,
And with it join the sweet frail leaves
  Of the shrinking sensitive tree.

And, tribute to thy modesty,
  The violet emblem meet,—
Itself concealing, yet on all
  Shedding its perfume sweet.

And for thy kind and gentle heart
  We bring the jessamine,
To twine with ivy, ever green—
  True friendship’s sacred sign.

Thy wreath is formed—of blossoms bright
  I’ve twined each link, and, yet,
Another flower I still must add,
  The fragrant mignonnette,

Which says “However great the charms
  That to thy lot may fall
Thy qualities of heart and mind
  By far surpass them all.”

Aye, be it thus, and ever may
  This lovely wreath, as now—
Emblem of every precious gift—
  Be fit to deck thy brow.

But, last and dearest, ’mid the buds
  Of that bright varied lot
Must ever be, my gentle child,
  The sweet forget-me-not!

© Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon