Ike was born, same year as you;
They opened up the Forth Bridge, too.
Van Gogh committed suicide;
The first electric chair was tried.
Ho Chi Minh was first shown off;
And Groucho Marx. And Molotov.
The cardboard box first came to be;
The world was shamed by Wounded Knee.
Pasternak was first presented;
Luxembourg was first invented.
County Cricket gained its clearance;
De Gaulle put in his first appearance.
Michael Collins, Jelly Roll:
Both arrived, perfected, whole.
Agatha Christie and Stan Laurel
Breathed their first. You could not quarrel
With their genius, could you, Lizzie?
Your birth-year was, like others, busy.
The daughter of two former slaves,
We see, through you, how time behaves:
Your life was blameless, not depressing,
Private, simple – all a blessing.
Someone else has died this week,
But he's a footnote. Let's not speak
Of what he did and did not do.
Lizzie, this time belongs to you.