The Excuse.

Wish thee joy on thy birth-day !—1
I could not, most wayward beauty :2
This was deem’d a want of duty,3
But I thought far other way.4
Chilling words, and looks still colder,5
Most unjustly fall on me ;6
How should that day joyful be,7
When it told that thou wert older ?8
Oh ! how truly would I bless9
That same day which I deplore,10
If, instead of one year more,11
It could give thee one year less !12