A Birthday-Gift.

I thought of offering thee a flower1
To grace thy natal day,2
But such a gift in one short hour3
Would wither and decay.4
And then my glances linger’d o’er5
The goldsmith’s jewelled rings,6
But well I knew thy heart prized more7
The worth of holier things.8
So turning from the gay arcade9
A volume met mine eye,10
Wherein the righteous preacher said,11
Be watchful lest ye die.”12
That book at once my choice I made ;13
Oh, may its words impart14
The Light of Life which casts no shade15
To darken thy young heart !16