Birthdays are never the same to me since the in front of our place has been and turned into a park. A bed of now blooms where I found my birthday pres­ent for Grandfather in 1936, and where Joan, my eight-year-old niece, discovered the E.P.N.S. (electroplated nickel silver) that she placed before me at the table on my birthday last year, a sign now reads "Keep off the Grass".
Ah, that most interesting week before the birthday of a friend when I the tip in search of a present. No dipping into my pockets, only dipping among carrot tops and turning over bath heaters. I never realized the possibilities of the tip as a source of cheap birthday gifts until one day, when we were celebrating my arrival on this earth, my nephew presented me with a solid silver cigarette case with the initials R.A.L. on the front. I was impressed. He handed it to me open. I tried to close it but that was impossible. A horse had stood on the back and the had gone. However, in our family, we never look a gift horse in the mouth. I put it, opened, in my pocket and set off for the tip im­mediately. Fortunately our tip was only patronized by the best people. The dustman informed me that the he cleared were owned by some of the most influential families in . Therefore, our gifts were all of a very high .
On my last birthday, Grandfather gave me the of a motor car. He left it down at the tip and told me I could get it whenever I wanted it. I never seemed to want it much. Now it is buried under soil and men have planted a small tree there. In return, on his seventy-fifth birthday, I gave Grandfather a cracked phonograph record his favourite song, "Come into the Garden, ". When the singer reached the name, "Maud", he kept repeating it, "Maud, Maud, Maud, Maud," until the machine or until you the needle over the crack with your finger. This was difficult because you could never get it on the right line again and the "soloist would often sing: "Come into the garden, Maud, Maud, Maud — — To faint in his light and to die, die die." It was not a very good birthday present, although it was most interesting and educational in that it showed you what happens when cracks get in records.
I remember one year Joan and I were getting desperate. We were each faced with the problem of finding a present for a friend in the one month. For weeks past the had been of a very poor quality and produced only a few forks and knives without blades. Joan found the lower jaw bone of a sheep. It was dry and clean. Now the lower jaw bone of a sheep is a most interesting thing to look at, but it is absolutely useless as far as a pres­ent is concerned. None of my friends is interested in such things.
Joan and I differ from our friends in that we can look at the lower jaw bone of a sheep for quite ten minutes and enjoy it, so when Joan asked, "Is this any good?" I replied, "The lower jaw bone of a sheep is a good thing, but only to you and me." Anyway, we brought it home, but they wouldn't let us bring it inside. Joan once gave me a book marked "With love from Gladys" in the inside of a plain cover. I don't know the name of this book, because all the front pages were torn out. The first page in this copy started at the top with the words: "... gasped tragically." To this day I can never find put who gasped or why. I used to lie in bed and wonder what he or she was gasping about, but a friend told me that's the way to , so now I never think about it except on my birthday, and anyway, one never sleeps on birth­days for various reasons, mainly reasons of eating, so it really doesn't matter.
To-morrow is Grandfather's birthday. Excuse me, I must go and buy him a present.

Plains coreopsis or calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), is an annual forb. The small, slender seeds germinate in fall (overwintering as a low rosette) or early spring. Growing quickly, plants attain heights of 12 to 40 inches (30–100 cm). Leaves are pinnately-divided, glabrous and tending to thin at the top of the plant where numerous 1- to 1.5-inch (2.5-to 4-cm) flowers sit atop slender stems. Flowers are brilliant yellow with maroon or brown centers of various sizes. Flowering typically occurs in mid-summer.

Come into the garden Maud

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Come into the garden, Maud,
     For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
     I am here at the gate alone ;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
     And the musk of the rose is blown.
For a breeze of morning moves,
     And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
     On a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
     To faint in his light, and to die.
All night have the roses heard
     The flute, violin, bassoon ;
All night has the casement jessamine stirred
     To the dancers dancing in tune ;
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
     And a hush with the setting moon.
I said to the lily, ‘There is but one
     With whom she has heart to be gay.
When will the dancers leave her alone ?
     She is weary of dance and play.’
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
     And half to the rising day ;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone
     The last wheel echoes away.
I said to the rose, ‘The brief night goes
     In babble and revel and wine.
O young lord-lover, what sighs are those,
     For one that will never be thine ?
But mine, but mine,’ so I sware to the rose,
     ‘For ever and ever, mine.’
And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
     As the music clashed in the hall ;
And long by the garden lake I stood,
     For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
     Our wood, that is dearer than all ;
From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
     That whenever a March-wind sighs
He sets the jewel-print of your feet
     In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
     And the valleys of Paradise.
The slender acacia would not shake
     One long milk-bloom on the tree ;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake
     As the pimpernel dozed on the lea ;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
     Knowing your promise to me ;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
     They sighed for the dawn and thee.
Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,
     Come hither, the dances are done,
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,
     Queen lily and rose in one ;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls,
     To the flowers, and be their sun.
There has fallen a splendid tear
     From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear ;
     She is coming, my life, my fate ;
The red rose cries, ‘She is near, she is near ;’
     And the white rose weeps, ‘She is late ;’
The larkspur listens, ‘I hear, I hear ;’
     And the lily whispers, ‘I wait.’
She is coming, my own, my sweet,
     Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
      Were it earth in an earthy bed ;
My dust would hear her and beat,
     Had I lain for a century dead ;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
     And blossom in purple and red.