The Unconquered Air, and Other Poems (1912)/For the Birthday of William Dean Howells

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FOR THE BIRTHDAY OF WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS

March 1, 1912

Seventy-five glad years of blessing,
And the hope of blessing more;
Memories the heart caressing,
Dreams that beckoning wait, before;


Life—full life, made rich by giving:
Life that can create, and lend
To the poor—delight in living,
To the lonely—many a friend


Wisdom that can teach through laughter—
Seeming but to entertain,
Or through pathos which, thereafter,
Leaves no dull, regretful pain;


Years of blessing, years of kindness,
And the courage that can smile
Though the eyes be dim to blindness
With a sorrow, hid the while,—


These are thine, thou selfless schemer,
Chanter of brave carmina:
These thy gifts to us, dear dreamer,—
Traveler from Altruria.