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New Years Poems

Table of Contents

  1. In Memoriam A.H.H. by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  2. The New Year by Dinah M. Craik
  3. "A Happy New Year." by Anonymous
  4. I Pack My Trunk by Amos Russel Wells
  5. The Death of the Old Year by Alfred Tennyson
  6. New Year's Birds by Anonymous
  7. The New-Year Mine by Anonymous
  8. Old Year, Good-Night! by Alexander Maclean
  9. New Year, Good-Morning! by Alexander Maclean
  10. New-Year's Morning by Lydia Sigourney
  11. New Year by Katharine Lee Bates
  12. The Benefactor by Hannah Flagg Gould
  13. The Closing Year by George Denison Prentice
  14. A New Year by Amos Russel Wells
  15. The New-Year Babe by John B. Tabb
  16. Welcoming the New Year by Arthur Weir
  17. The New Year by Anonymous
  18. A New Year Wish by Anonymous
  19. The Little New Year's Come to Stay by Annette Wynne
  20. What Do You Hold in Your Hand, New Year? by Annette Wynne

  1. In Memoriam A.H.H.

    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
    The flying cloud, the frosty light:
    The year is dying in the night;
    Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

    Ring out the old, ring in the new,
    Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
    The year is going, let him go;
    Ring out the false, ring in the true.

    Ring out the grief that saps the mind
    For those that here we see no more;
    Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
    Ring in redress to all mankind.

    Ring out a slowly dying cause,
    And ancient forms of party strife;
    Ring in the nobler modes of life,
    With sweeter manners, purer laws.

    Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
    The faithless coldness of the times;
    Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
    But ring the fuller minstrel in.

    Ring out false pride in place and blood,
    The civic slander and the spite;
    Ring in the love of truth and right,
    Ring in the common love of good.

    Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
    Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
    Ring out the thousand wars of old,
    Ring in the thousand years of peace.

    Ring in the valiant man and free,
    The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
    Ring out the darkness of the land,
    Ring in the Christ that is to be.

  2. The New Year

    by Dinah M. Craik

    Who comes dancing over the snow,
    His soft little feet all bare and rosy?
    Open the door, though the wild wind blow,
    Take the child in and make him cozy,
    Take him in and hold him dear,
    Here is the wonderful glad New Year.

  3. "A Happy New Year."

    by Anonymous

    "A happy new year" it will be—if it's new:
    New visions of all that is noble and true,
    New powers for service, new knowledge of God,
    New zeal for the ways that the heroes have trod,
    New comforts, new courage, new graces, new joys,
    New peace where the evil assails or annoys,
    New friendship, new helpers, new faith and new love,
    New treasures on earth and new treasures above,
    New wisdom, new glory, new health, and new cheer,
    Nothing old, all things new, in the happy new year!

  4. I Pack My Trunk

    by Amos Russel Wells

    What shall I pack up to carry
    From the old year to the new?
    I'll leave out the frets that harry,
    Thoughts unjust and doubts untrue.

    Angry words—ah, how I rue them!
    Selfish deeds and choices blind—
    Any one is welcome to them!
    I shall leave them all behind.

    Plans? the trunk would need be double.
    Hopes? they'd burst the stoutest lid.
    Sharp ambitions? last year's stubble!
    Take them, old year! Keep them hid!

    All my fears shall be forsaken,
    All my failures manifold;
    Nothing gloomy shall be taken
    To the new year from the old.

    But I'll pack the sweet remembrance
    Of dear friendship's least delight;
    All my jokes—I'll carry them hence;
    All my store of fancies bright;

    My contentment—would 'twere greater!
    All the courage I possess;
    All my trust—there's not much weight there!
    All my faith or more or less;

    All my tasks! I'll not abandon
    One of these, my pride, my health;
    Every trivial or grand one
    Is a noble mine of wealth.

    And I'll pack my choicest treasure,
    Smiles I've seen, and praises heard,
    Memories of unselfish pleasure,
    Cheery looks, the kindly word.

    Ah, my riches silence cavil!
    To my rags I bid adieu!
    Like a Croesus I shall travel
    From the old year to the new.

  5. The Death of the Old Year

    by Alfred Tennyson

    Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,
    And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
    Toll ye the church bell sad and slow,
    And tread softly and speak low,
    For the old year lies a-dying.
    Old year you must not die;
    You came to us so readily,
    You lived with us so steadily,
    Old year you shall not die.

    He lieth still: he doth not move:
    He will not see the dawn of day.
    He hath no other life above.
    He gave me a friend and a true true-love
    And the New-year will take 'em away.
    Old year you must not go;
    So long you have been with us,
    Such joy as you have seen with us,
    Old year, you shall not go.

    He froth'd his bumpers to the brim;
    A jollier year we shall not see.
    But tho' his eyes are waxing dim,
    And tho' his foes speak ill of him,
    He was a friend to me.
    Old year, you shall not die;
    We did so laugh and cry with you,
    I've half a mind to die with you,
    Old year, if you must die.

    He was full of joke and jest,
    But all his merry quips are o'er.
    To see him die across the waste
    His son and heir doth ride post-haste,
    But he'll be dead before.
    Every one for his own.
    The night is starry and cold, my friend,
    And the New-year blithe and bold, my friend,
    Comes up to take his own.

    How hard he breathes! over the snow
    I heard just now the crowing cock.
    The shadows flicker to and fro:
    The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
    'Tis nearly twelve o'clock.
    Shake hands, before you die.
    Old year, we'll dearly rue for you:
    What is it we can do for you?
    Speak out before you die.

    His face is growing sharp and thin.
    Alack! our friend is gone,
    Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
    Step from the corpse, and let him in
    That standeth there alone,
    And waiteth at the door.
    There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,
    And a new face at the door, my friend,
    A new face at the door.

  6. New Year's Birds

    by Anonymous

    Sun on New Year's morning
    Laughing at the snow;
    Trees hung thick with jewels,
    Icicles aglow.

    All the earth in ermine,
    All the air in blue,
    All the bells a jingle;
    "Ho! the year is new."

    Out to greet the new world
    All so white and pure,
    See our household darling,
    Dainty and demure.

    "Happy New Year, snowbirds!
    Happy New Year, sun!
    Happy New Year oak-tree!
    Happy, every one!"

    From the blue sky dropping
    To the white earth down,
    Here the New Year's birds come,
    Dressed in white and brown.

    "Happy New Year, darling!"
    Thus the gay birds sing.
    "New Year's presents, darling,
    Merrily we bring."

    "My gift," said the first bird,
    "Is your mother's love."
    "My gift," said the second,
    "Is the sun above."

    "Mine is your sweet home, dear."
    "Mine is fire and food."
    "Mine is Jesus' praises
    When His child is good."

    "My gift is nice clothing."
    "Mine ia play and fun."
    "Mine is rest and slumber
    When the day is done."

    Eight birds softly singing
    In the New Year's glow,
    As our happy darling
    Trudges through the snow.

    New Year's birds, gift laden,
    Singing hale and true,—
    Listen softly children
    They will sing to you!

  7. The New-Year Mine

    by Anonymous

    Every year's a hidden mine;
    Stoutly up, and work it!
    What though anxious toil is thine?
    Never think to shirk it.

    Half the mine, as I am told,
    Harbors dust and ashes;
    Half the mine is precious gold,—
    Ah, how bright it flashes!

    Sink the shaft of Lazy Mind,
    (What a dreadful bore, sir!)
    Dust and ashes you will find,
    That and nothing more sir!

    Sink the shaft of Earnest Heart,—
    Lo, the treasure glances,
    Gleaming gay in every part
    Where your pick advances!

    See, my lad, the New-Year Mine
    Bright with promise-flashes!
    Will you dig for treasure fine,
    Or only dust and ashes?

  8. Old Year, Good-Night!

    by Alexander Maclean

    Old Year, good night! A faithful friend
    You've been to us, and Heaven send
    You peace, as through the noisy night
    You take your long and solemn flight
    Adown the path we all descend.

    You brought us merry hours to spend;
    In gratitude we would forfend
    From you the thought of parting-slight;
    Old Year, good-night

    Good-night! and when we, too, must wend
    Our midnight way your path to attend,
    Come, good old Year, and bring a light
    To make our path a little bright;
    Not here, not now, let friendship end;
    Old Year, good-night!

  9. New Year, Good-Morning!

    by Alexander Maclean

    New Year, good-morning! Come and bring
    Us days that smile and days that sing
    Out from the drifts of swirling snow
    That through the mirky midnight blow
    And clutch with frosty hands and cling.

    Hark! how the joy-bells chime and ring
    Thy birth, and new hope set a-wing.
    With hands outstretched you come; and so
    New Year, good-morning!

    New courage greets their clamoring—
    The thought of friends, the thought of spring,
    Of kindly solace for our woe,
    Of happiness we're still to know;
    We wait your accolade, O King!
    New Year, good-morning!

  10. New-Year's Morning

    by Lydia Sigourney

    Wake, dear ones, 'tis the New-Year's morn,
    And many a wish for you is born,
    And many a prayer, of spirit true
    Breaks from paternal lips for you.

    No more the vales with daisies glow,
    The violets sleep, beneath the snow,
    The rose her radiant robes doth fold
    And hides her buds from winter's cold.

    But Spring, with gentle smile shall call
    Up from their beds, those slumberers all
    Fresh verdure o'er your path shall swell,
    The brook its tuneful story tell,
    And graceful flowers, with varied bloom,
    Again your garden's bound perfume.

    Ye are our buds; and in your breast
    The promise of our hope doth rest.

    When knowledge, like the breath of Spring,
    Shall wake your minds to blossoming,
    May their unfolding germs disclose,
    More than the fragrance of the rose,
    More than the brightness of the stream
    That through green shades, with sparkling gleam
    In peace and purity doth glide
    On to the Ocean's mighty tide.

    The country too, which gave you birth,
    That freest, happiest clime on earth,
    To all, to each, with fervour cries,
    "Oh for my sake, be good, be wise,
    Seek knowledge, and with studious pain,
    Resolve, her priceless gold to gain.

    Shun the strong cup, whose poisonous tide
    To ruin's dark abyss, doth guide,
    And with the sons of virtue stand,
    The bulwark of your native land.

    Me would you serve? This day begin
    The fear of God, the dread of sin;
    Love, for instruction's watchful care,
    The patient task, the nightly prayer;
    So shall you glitter as a gem,
    Bound in my brightest diadem."

  11. New Year

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    White year, white year,
    Muffled soft in snow,
    A diamond spray whose gems are gone
    Before their grace we know,
    A crystal-coated spray whose hours
    Melt when looked upon,
    Hoarfrost stars and hoarfrost flowers,
    White year!

    Green year, green year,
    Sweet with sun and showers,
    A windblown spray whose blossoms bright
    Are the seven-colored hours,
    A dancing spray whose leaves are days,
    A spray whose leaves delight
    In azure gleam and silver haze,
    Green year!

    New Year, new year
    From rosy leaf to gold,
    A shining spray on the Tree of Time
    Where myriad sprays unfold,
    A spray so fair that God may see
    And gather it, bloom and rime,
    To deck the doors of Eternity,
    New Year!

  12. The Benefactor

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Unsullied by time, and undimmed by a tear,
    But fresh, on the wing of the new-born year,
    I come, a pure and a holy thing;
    And to all, who receive me, some gift I bring.

    For childhood, amused with its stories and toys,
    I've a lasting supply of those innocent joys;
    And a breastplate of truth, that I'll place o'er its heart,
    To keep it unspotted from falsehood and art.

    I give to the youth, as his hopes are full-blown,
    Those hopes undeceived till their fruits are full-grown:
    In the landscape of life, that before him is spread,
    I will leave not a thorn, where I know he must tread.

    I grant to the young and the beautiful maid
    A form ne'er to wither—a cheek ne'er to fade—
    A heart not to grieve that the lip oft may smile,
    And treachery lurk in the bosom the while!

    I give to the aged, to whom life must seem,
    As 't is past in review, like a short, busy dream,
    The peace undisturbed which may spring from the trust,
    That, beyond time and earth, they shall live with the just.

    For you, who are treading the gay, giddy round
    Of fashion and folly, for you I have found
    A far nobler work for your life's fleeting day;
    And I give to you wisdom to shine on your way.

    To the prisoner, immured in the dark, starless night
    Of a dungeon, I give heaven's pure air and light;
    And the power, though his hands may be crimson with guilt,
    To wash themselves white from the blood they have spilt.

    I give to the exile, who's destined to roam
    From parent, from brother and sister and home,
    A welcome from him, who, those treasures possessing,
    Shall find himself blest in bestowing the blessing.

    For the poor I've a shelter from cold and from storm;
    I've bread for his mouth, and a garb for his form;
    But chiefly, a spirit to soar from the dust
    To a treasure on high, safe from moth and from rust.

    To the rich, for their deeds, as a final reward,
    I will leave but the look and the word of their Lord:
    May they hear, with a smile, from their Master divine,
    "Ye have done unto me what ye did unto mine!"

    Thus, for high and for low, for the young and the old,
    For the wise and the foolish I've treasures untold;
    And WISH is my name—but ye never must hear
    What bosom I sprang from to hail the NEW YEAR!

  13. The Closing Year

    George Denison Prentice, 1802-1870, widely known as a political writer, a poet, and a wit, was born in Preston, Connecticut, and graduated at Brown University in 1823. He studied law, but never practiced his profession. He edited a paper in Hartford for two years; and, in 1831, he became editor of the "Louisville Journal," which position he held for nearly forty years. As an editor, Mr. Prentice was an able, and sometimes bitter, political partisan, abounding in wit and satire; as a poet, he not only wrote gracefully himself, but he did much by his kindness and sympathy to develop the poetical talents of others. Some who have since taken high rank, first became known to the world through the columns of the "Louisville Journal."

    'T is midnight's holy hour, and silence now
    Is brooding like a gentle spirit o'er
    The still and pulseless world. Hark! on the winds,
    The bell's deep notes are swelling; 't is the knell
    Of the departed year.

    No funeral train
    Is sweeping past; yet, on the stream and wood,
    With melancholy light, the moonbeams rest
    Like a pale, spotless shroud; the air is stirred
    As by a mourner's sigh; and, on yon cloud,
    That floats so still and placidly through heaven,
    The spirits of the Seasons seem to stand—
    Young Spring, bright Summer, Autumn's solemn form,
    And Winter, with his aged locks—and breathe
    In mournful cadences, that come abroad
    Like the far wind harp's wild and touching wail,
    A melancholy dirge o'er the dead year,
    Gone from the earth forever.

    'Tis a time
    For memory and for tears. Within the deep,
    Still chambers of the heart, a specter dim,
    Whose tones are like the wizard voice of Time,
    Heard from the tomb of ages, points its cold
    And solemn finger to the beautiful
    And holy visions, that have passed away,
    And left no shadow of their loveliness
    On the dead waste of life. That specter lifts
    The coffin lid of Hope, and Joy, and Love,
    And, bending mournfully above the pale,
    Sweet forms that slumber there, scatters dead flowers
    O'er what has passed to nothingness.

    The year
    Has gone, and, with it, many a glorious throng
    Of happy dreams. Its mark is on each brow,
    Its shadow in each heart. In its swift course
    It waved its scepter o'er the beautiful,
    And they are not. It laid its pallid hand
    Upon the strong man; and the haughty form
    Is fallen, and the flashing eye is dim.
    It trod the hall of revelry, where thronged
    The bright and joyous; and the tearful wail
    Of stricken ones is heard, where erst the song
    And reckless shout resounded. It passed o'er
    The battle plain, where sword, and spear, and shield
    Flashed in the light of midday; and the strength
    Of serried hosts is shivered, and the grass,
    Green from the soil of carnage, waves above
    The crushed and moldering skeleton. It came,
    And faded like a wreath of mist at eve;
    Yet, ere it melted in the viewless air,
    It heralded its millions to their home
    In the dim land of dreams.

    Remorseless Time!—
    Fierce spirit of the glass and scythe!—what power
    Can stay him in his silent course, or melt
    His iron heart to pity! On, still on
    He presses, and forever. The proud bird,
    The condor of the Andes, that can soar
    Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave
    The fury of the northern hurricane,
    And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home,
    Furls his broad wings at nightfall, and sinks down
    To rest upon his mountain crag; but Time
    Knows not the weight of sleep or weariness;
    And Night's deep darkness has no chain to bind
    His rushing pinion.

    Revolutions sweep
    O'er earth, like troubled visions o'er the breast
    Of dreaming sorrow; cities rise and sink
    Like bubbles on the water; fiery isles
    Spring blazing from the ocean, and go back
    To their mysterious caverns; mountains rear
    To heaven their bald and blackened cliffs, and bow
    Their tall heads to the plain; new empires rise,
    Gathering the strength of hoary centuries,
    And rush down, like the Alpine avalanche,
    Startling the nations; and the very stars,
    Yon bright and burning blazonry of God,
    Glitter awhile in their eternal depths,
    And, like the Pleiad, loveliest of their train,
    Shoot from their glorious spheres, and pass away,
    To darkle in the trackless void; yet Time,
    Time the tomb builder, holds his fierce career,
    Dark, stern, all pitiless, and pauses not
    Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path,
    To sit and muse, like other conquerors,
    Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought.

  14. A New Year

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I want a new year. New things are not patched.
    So would I start my year all finely whole,
    No gaps of dull omissions meanly closed
    With poorly fitting fragments of dispatch,
    No mendings of ignoble after-thought,
    But all one piece of steady warp and woof,
    A year entire, as all my years should be.

    I want a new year. New things are not worn.
    Not thin in places, ragged here and there,
    And loose bits hanging down; no year all frayed,
    With fears and worries bare before its time;
    But firm and confident, a brave new year.

    I want a new year. Do not new things shine?
    Do they not shimmer in the dancing light?
    Are they not smooth and gracious to the touch?
    Is it not joy to take them from the box?
    And shake them out in tumbling, happy folds,
    And hold them up for all men to admire?
    So, with a burst of joy, my glad new year.

    I want a new year. Ah, but new things cost!
    Well, I will pay the price of this new year:
    The price of patience, and the price of time;
    The price of prayers ascending to the God
    Who was before all years began to be,
    And will be through the new years as the old;
    The price of partings from the lower aims,
    Of stanch adhesion to the rugged best;
    The price of life!

    I cannot pay the price.
    Pay Thou for me, O Christ, my brother Christ!
    Be Thou my Patience, and be Thou my Prayer;
    Be Thou my Strength of hard, laborious will.
    From out Thine endless ages with my God
    Bring newness to this little year of mine.
    So shall it be Thy year and not my own,
    Yet doubly mine, as I shall dwell with Thee;
    Yes, doubly mine, as through it I shall pass
    To Thine eternity forever new.

  15. The New-Year Babe

    by John B. Tabb

    Two together, Babe and Year,
    At the midnight chime,
    Through the darkness drifted here
    To the coast of Time.

    Two together, Babe and Year,
    Over night and day,
    Crossed the desert Winter drear
    To the land of May.

    On together, Babe and Year
    Swift to Summer passed.
    "Rest a moment, Brother dear,"
    Said the Babe at last.

    "Nay, but onward," answered Year,
    "We must farther go,
    Through the Vale of Autumn sere
    To the Mount of Snow."

    Toiling upward, Babe and Year
    Climbed the frozen height.
    "We may rest together here,
    Brother Babe,—Good-night!"

    Then together Babe and Year
    Slept; but ere the dawn,
    Vanishing, I know not where,
    Brother Year was gone!

  16. Welcoming the New Year

    by Arthur Weir

    We gathered, a jovial party,
    Together on New Year's eve,
    To welcome the coming monarch
    And to see the old one leave.

    We chatted around the fireside,
    And wondered what time would bring:
    We had not a tear for the parting year,
    But longed for the coming king.

    For youth reaches ever forward,
    And drops from its eager clasp
    The realized gifts of fortune,
    Some phantom of hope to grasp.

    Soon a maiden spoke of the custom,
    Now lapsed in this age of prose,
    To open the door for the New Year
    The instant the Old Year goes;

    Then, leaving the door wide open,
    To stand in the silent street
    And, with a generous "welcome,"
    The entering guest to greet.

    It suited our youthful fancy,
    And, when the glad chimes began,
    From our cosy nook by the fireside
    Down into the street we ran.

    And, far and near, we all could hear
    The great bells ringing out the year,
    And, as they tolled, the music rolled,
    Hoarse-sounding, over town and wold.

    "The year is dead," Gros Bourdon said,
    The clanging echoes quivering fled,
    And, far and wide, on every side,
    The bells to one another cried.

    The mountain woke, and from its cloak
    Shook off the echoes, stroke for stroke.
    Then silence fell on hill and bell,
    And echoes ceased to sink and swell.

    Standing beside the door wide open thrown,
    Her voice more musical than any bird's,
    And with a winning sweetness all its own,
    Our Queen thus winged her joyous thoughts with words:

    "Ring out, bells, ring! Sing, mountain, sing!
    The king is dead, long live the king!
    Now fast, now slow; now loud, now low,
    Send out your chimes across the snow.

    "Old Year, adieu; welcome the New,
    The door stands open here for you.
    Come in, come in, the bells begin
    To falter in their merry din."

    Then, as the great bells ceased to swing, two broke
    A silver coin, for luck in days to come,
    And though no tender words of love they spoke
    Yet hearts speak best when most the lips are dumb.

  17. The New Year

    by Anonymous

    May the year that is dawning
    So fresh and so pure,
    Be full of the pleasures
    That always endure.

    The sunshine of love,
    The joy of kind deeds,
    The brightness of smiles
    That the sad world so needs.

    The kindly word uttered,
    The angry unspoken:
    The merry heart's laughter,
    To heal the hearts broken.

    And when the New Year
    Has grown old and gray,
    May you give it back spotless
    And pure as today.

  18. A New Year Wish

    by Anonymous

    "May every soul that touches thine
    Be it the slightest contact, get therefrom some good,
    Some little grace, one kindly thought,
    One aspiration yet unfelt; one bit of courage
    For the darkening sky, one gleam of faith."

  19. The Little New Year's Come to Stay

    by Annette Wynne

    The little new year's come to stay,
    To be our guest for many a day;
    O let us keep the new year new
    By being earnest, brave, and true,
    And doing kind things all year through-
    So only, can the little year
    Stay new and bright and full of cheer.

  20. What Do You Hold in Your Hand, New Year?

    by Annette Wynne

    What do you hold in your hand, New Year?
    A sheaf of many hours—
    Take them, hold them very dear,
    Snow and rain and flowers;
    You are blest if you but see
    Sunshine through the showers.

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