(must be read aloud)
One birthday greeting is a joy,
Well-meant regards, a smile coy.
And second, third are warmly met
With bonhomme and thanks, and yet
A fourth and fifth embarrassed make
The older subject of the cake.
The sixth through sixteenth start to grate
On aging ears and bone substrate.
By twenty-two temptation's great
To rudely stare with furrowed pate
And DARE the happy wishing goon
To utter one more granfalloon.
Then sharp reproach and outright hate
Provoked by number twenty-eight
Turn former placid countenance
To thoughts of petty violence,
Like black-ed eyes and smash-ed noses,
Loosened teeth and stamp-ed toeses.
Then tension mounts, it's nearly time
For cheesy cake and hackneyed rhyme
And fix-ed eyes and slack-jawed stare
To watch you puff with manic glare
As burning wax you enervate
With secret wish to extirpate
The mawking throng. But stop, wait!
For sure as Earth encircles Sun,
Before the yearly cycle's run
Each petty fool whom now you eye
With brimming hate and rupture neigh
Will have HIS birthday amble by.
And YOU can yammer in the hall
"WHY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! What's the toll
of Father Time on you this year?
A kink-ed back? A muffled ear?
A hardened gland within your rear?
A balded dome? Well, let's be clear
That you'll no pity from me get,
'Cause you're the one not reticent
To make ME think of passing time,
And caused the writing of this rhyme."