Philip Larkin

Born Yesterday

Tightly-folded bud, I have wished you something None of the others would: Not the usual stuff About being beautiful, Or running off a spring Of innocence and love— They will all wish you that, And should it prove possible, Well, you’re a lucky girl. But if it shouldn’t, then May you be ordinary; Have, like other women, An average of talents: Not ugly, not good-looking, Nothing uncustomary To pull you off your balance, That, unworkable itself, Stops all the rest from working. In fact, may you be dull— If that is what a skilled, Vigilant, flexible, Unemphasised, enthralled Catching of happiness is called.

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