Jane Austen is best known for her novels, but she was also an accomplished poet. In this poem, she commemorates her friend Anne Lefroy who died on Jane’s own birthday.
To the Memory of Mrs Lefroy who Died Dec:r 16 – My Birthday
The day returns again, my natal day;
What mix’d emotions with the Thought arise!
Beloved friend, four years have pass’d away
Since thou wert snatch’d forever from our eyes. –
The day, commemorative of my birth
Bestowing Life and Light and Hope on me,
Brings back the hour which was thy last on Earth.
Oh! bitter pang of torturing Memory! –
Angelic Woman! past my power to praise
In Language meet, thy Talents, Temper, mind.
Thy solid Worth, they captivating Grace! –
Thou friend and ornament of Humankind! –
Now it’s your turn. Why not use the comment area below to share your own birthday ode? Who might you pen a birthday poem for? Perhaps like Jane Austen, you’ll reflect on something else that happened on your own natal day. You could also use this as a chance to reflect on the first day in this world of someone you love, a beloved child or pet perhaps!
What do you think of birthdays? Do you celebrate or tend to forget? Do others celebrate with you, or do you share them alone with only your thoughts and memories for company? Is a birthday the start of something new, a new beginning or the reminder of all that has gone before?