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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Stella's Birthday, 1721-2

TO STELLA.


ON HER BIRTHDAY, 1721-2.


WHILE, Stella, to your lasting praise
The Muse her annual tribute pays,
While I assign myself a task
Which you expect, but scorn to ask;
If I perform this task with pain,
Let me of partial fate complain;
You every year the debt enlarge,
I grow less equal to the charge:
In you each virtue brighter shines,
But my poetick vein declines;
My harp will soon in vain be strung,
And all your virtues left unsung.
For none among the upstart race
Of poets dare assume my place;
Your worth will be to them unknown,
They must have Stellas of their own;
And thus, my stock of wit decay’d,
I dying leave the debt unpaid,
Unless Delany, as my heir,
Will answer for the whole arrear.