To Virginia (on Her Birthday)

A poem by Abram Joseph Ryan

Your past is past and never to return,
The long bright yesterday of life's first years,
Its days are dead -- cold ashes in an urn.
Some held for you a chalice for your tears,
And other days strewed flowers upon your way.
They all are gone beyond your reach,
And thus they are beyond my speech.
I know them not, so that your first gone times
To me unknown, lie far beyond my rhymes.
But I can bless your soul and aims to-day,
And I can ask your future to be sweet,
And I can pray that you may never meet
With any cross, you are too weak to bear.
Virginia, Virgin name, and may you wear
Its virtues and its beauties, fore'er and fore'er.
I breathe this blessing, and I pray this prayer.

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