Birthday Lines to K. B.
Life is a Poem, short or long,
A dismal Dirge, or jovial Song,
A Psalm of faith, or Lay of Pride,
One stanza by each year supplied.
And thy sweet Hymn of love and truth,
A carol of unfading youth,
Which God hath given thee to rehearse,
Enlightening others’ chequered way,
Is strengthened by a further verse
Upon the gracious April day.
K. B. [Kate Baker] (editor), The Poems of Joseph Furphy, Melbourne: Lothian Book Publishing Co., 1916, page 37
dirge = a song, chant, or music, especially of a mournful nature and slow, used for a funeral, memorial, or commemoration; a lamentation for the dead
K. B. = Catherine (Kate) Baker (1861-1953), a friend of Joseph Furphy; she was a major advocate of Furphy’s literary works and successfully campaigned for the critical recognition of his novel Such Is Life
lay = song, tune; ballad