This slightly unorthodox sonnet, intended vaguely for use as a birthday gift and following the same rhyme scheme as "Wedding Song," at first glance appears to be a fairly typical love poem, perhaps most distinguished by the frequent use of religious imagery. In fact, though, the poem is meant to carry significance far beyond the narrow bounds of romantic attraction; rather, I prefer to think that it expresses a more general form of admiration, one which could apply to a parent, mentor, friend, or personal hero as easily as it could to a lover.
When you were born—what seraph's soul was moved
To cast upon a mortal countenance
Such beauty—what saint's mind did it behoove
To cast a mind so like in cognizance?
When you were born, did comets pass the earth
In spectral fire for its heralding--
Or, if no worldly sign foretold your birth,
Did not at least the heavens sweetly sing?
Indeed, what strangest angel could create
At once such grace, such beauty, such command,
Such wit, such kindness, in one unity;
And what same God could make a thing so great,
Could craft that soul with some high graceful hand--
And then make such a common thing as me?