The poems of Julia C. R. Dorr, as she often signed her work, are mostly simple in style and, it is said, she purposely never wrote anything she would not feel comfortable reading to children. Her poem "My Birthday" was playfully addressed to her husband:
My birthday!—" How many years ago?
Twenty or thirty?" Don't ask me!
"Forty or fifty?"—How can I tell?
I do not remember my birth, you see!
It is hearsay evidence—nothing more!
Once on a time, the legends say,
A girl was born—and that girl was I.
How can I vouch for the truth, I pray?
I know I am here, but when I came
Let some one wiser than I am tell!
Did this sweet flower you plucked for me
Know when its bud began to swell?
How old am I? You ought to know
Without any telling of mine, my dear!
For when I came to this happy earth
Were you not waiting for me here?
A dark-eyed boy on the northern hills,
Chasing the hours with flying feet,
Did you not know your wife was born,
By a subtile prescience, faint yet sweet?
Did never a breath from the south-land come,
With sunshine laden and rare perfume,
To lift your hair with a soft caress,
And waken your heart to richer bloom?
Not one? O mystery strange as life!
To think that we who are now so dear
Were once in our dreams so far apart,
Nor cared if the other were far or near!
But—how old am I? You must tell.
Just as old as I seem to you!
Nor shall I a day older be
While life remaineth and love is true!