By William Makepeace Thackeray
Seventeen rosebuds in a ring,
Thick with sister flowers beset,
In a fragrant coronet,
Lucy’s servants this day bring.
Be it the birthday wreath she wears
Fresh and fair, and symbolling
The young number of her years,
The sweet blushes of her spring.
Types of youth and love and hope!
Friendly hearts your mistress greet,
Be you ever fair and sweet,
And grow lovelier as you ope!
Gentle nursling, fenced about
With fond care, and guarded so,
Scarce you’ve heard of storms without,
Frosts that bite or winds that blow!
Kindly has your life begun,
And we pray that heaven may send
To our floweret a warm sun,
A calm summer, a sweet end.
And where’er shall be her home,
May she decorate the place;
Still expanding into bloom,
And developing in grace.