From Harper's Weekly Magazine
MT 70
th Birthday Supplement: 23 December 1905

DR. VAN DYKE said:



SOME threescore years and ten ago,
A Prince was born in Florida, Mo.;
And though he came incognito,
With just the usual yells of woe,
The watchful fairies seemed to know
    Precisely what the row meant.
For when he was but five days old
(December fifth, as I've been told),
They pattered through the snow-drifts cold,
And came around his crib to hold
    A council of endowment.


"I give him Wit," the Eldest said:
And stooped above the little bed
To touch his forehead round and red.
"Within this bald, unfurnished head,
Where wild, luxuriant locks shall spread
    And float in years hereafter,
I kindle now the lively spark
That still shall flash by day and ark,
And wheresoe'er he goes shall mark
    His way with light and laughter."

The fairies laughed to think of it,--
That such a round and wrinkled bit
Of flesh should be endowed with Wit!
But something serious seemed to hit
The mind of one, as if a fit
    Of fear had come upon her.
"I give him Truth," she quickly cried, --
"That laughter may not lead aside
To ways where scorn and falsehood hide, --
    I give him Truth and Honor!"

"I give him Love," exclaimed the third:
And as she breathed a mystic word,
I know not if the baby heard,
But softly in his sleep he stirred,
And twittered like a little bird,
    And stretched his hands above him.
The fairy's gift was sealed and signed
With kisses twain, the deed to bind:
"A heart of love to human kind,
    And human kind to love him!"

"Now stay your giving!" cried the Queen.
"These gifts are passing rich, I ween;
And if reporters should be mean
Enough to spy upon this scene
'Twould make all other babies green
    With envy at the rumor.
Yet since I love this child forsooth
I'll mix your gifts, Love, Wit, and Truth,
With Spirit of Immortal Youth,
    And call the mixture Humor!"
The fairies vanished with their glittering train;
But here's the Prince with all their gifts:
            Mark Twain.
(Great applause.)

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