Famous Holiday Poem

Bessie Rayner Parkes was an English feminist who lived from 1829-1925. This poem shares how we eagerly bid a year goodbye and await all that is to come in the next year.

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New-year's Eve And New-year's Day

Bessie Rayner Parkes By more Bessie Rayner Parkes

Good bye, Old Year!
And with thee take
Thanks for the gifts to every land
Thou broughtest in thy bounteous hand,
And all that thou hast taught to hearts thy lingering steps forsake.
Good bye, Old Year!
The Past awaiteth thee.
Who ruleth in her power alone
The kingdom of Oblivion.
Silent she sits in ebon chair;
Falling mists of dusky hair
Veil her dark eyes' glorious shine,
Full of wise help, and truth divine.
Silent, unless a fitful sound,
As from some cavern underground,
Steal from her lips; the company
Of ancient Years that round her be,
Then chanting, one by one, give tongue
To old experience in their song.

Good bye, Old Year!
Thou goest forth alone,
As we shall do: thy pages gay,
Seasons and months who round thee lay,
Attend thee to Earth's farthest verge, then back! to greet thy son.

Hail, New-born Year!
Cradled in morning clouds
Golden and white. I cannot see
Thy face--'tis wrapp'd in mystery;
But Spring for thee is painting flowers,
And Summer decks her woven bowers;
Rich Autumn's sheaves will soon be reap'd,
With store of fruits in sunbeams steep'd,
And one by one with gentle hand folds back thy sunlit shrouds.

Hail, New-born Year!
Shining and beautiful,
Thou wilt step forth in plenitude
Of youth and its rejoicing mood.
Last child of the half-century,
And time of coming victory
Over the spirits of night and sin,
Whose howlings of defeat begin:
Thou bringest hope, and labour bless'd
In visions of successful rest,
Bringest great thoughts, and actions wrought
In fire upon that forge of thought,
And with the soul of earnestness I think thy youths are full.

Hail, New-born Year!
My utterance is too weak
To tell of all I think thou bringest,
To echo back the song thou singest;
But the very winds of Heaven for those who listen to them, speak!

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