On this day (May 21) in 1688, the poet Alexander Pope was born.
To celebrate, here is a poem by Pope:
‘To Mrs M. B on her birthday’
Oh be thou blest with all that Heav’n can send,
Long Health, long Youth, long Pleasure, and a Friend:
Not with those Toys the female world admire,
Riches that vex, and Vanities that tire.
With added years if Life bring nothing new,
But, like a Sieve, let ev’ry blessing thro’,
Some joy still lost, as each vain year runs o’er,
And all we gain, some sad Reflection more;
Is that a Birth-Day? ’tis alas! too clear,
‘Tis but the funeral of the former year.
Let Joy or Ease, let Affluence or Content,
And the gay Conscience of a life well spent,
Calm ev’ry thought, inspirit ev’ry grace.
Glow in thy heart, and smile upon thy face.
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
Without a Pain, a Trouble, or a Fear;
Till Death unfelt that tender frame destroy,
In some soft Dream, or Extasy of joy,
Peaceful sleep out the Sabbath of the Tomb,
And wake to Raptures in a Life to come.