My Birthday Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


A dozen years since in this house what commotionA
What bustle what stir and what joyful adoB
Every soul in the family at my devotionA
When into the world I came twelve years agoC
I've been told by my friends if they do not belie meD
My promise was such as no parent would scornE
The wise and the aged who prophesied by meD
Augured nothing but good of me when I was bornE
But vain are the hopes which are formed by a parentF
Fallacious the marks which in infancy shineG
My frail constitution soon made it apparentF
I nourished within me the seeds of declineG
On a sick bed I lay through the flesh my bones startedH
My grief wasted frame to a skeleton fellI
My physicians foreboding took leave and departedH
And they wished me dead now who wish d me wellI
Life and soul were kept in by a mother's assistanceJ
Who struggled with faith and prevailed 'gainst despairK
Like an angel she watched o'er the lamp of existenceJ
And never would leave while a glimmer was thereK
By her care I'm alive now but what retributionA
Can I for a life twice bestowed thus conferL
Were I to be silent each year's revolutionA
Proclaims each new birthday is owing to herL
The chance rooted tree that by waysides is plantedH
Where no friendly hand will watch o'er its young shootsM
Has less blame if in autumn when produce is wantedH
Enriched by small culture it put forth small fruitsM
But that which with labour in hot beds is rearedN
Secured by nice art from the dews and the rainsO
Unsound at the root may with justice be fearedN
If it pay not with interest the tiller's hard painsO

Charles Lamb


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