Saturday, December 31, 2011

Today's poem by William Cullen Bryant


A Song for New Year's Eve


Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—
Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
For his familiar sake.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands
Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands,
Because he gives no more?
Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,
While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent!
How sweet the seventh day's rest!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep
Of all they said and did!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past;
Oh be the new as kind!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.

William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), 1864

12 comments:

  1. A very Happy New Year Nan. What a dear poem William C.B. looks like Father Christmas.
    Thank you for your blog, cheering and informing so many of us all over the world.
    Carole

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  2. A poem to reflect on, thank you, Nan and Happy New Year. "The good old year is with the past;
    Oh be the new as kind!" May 2012 be kind to you and that 2012 be "kinder" than the last was for many! I continue to visit and enjoy all you share with us here!

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  3. Happy new year to you and your family, Nan!

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  4. I thank you all for coming by to read this wonderful poem. I found it so moving. And Carole, I love what you said about the poet. I bet he would, too.
    I thank you all for your wishes, and I wish them right back atcha (as Ellen D. says)

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  5. What a lovely poem seeing the old year in such a positive way, so many people seem to be glad to see the end of 2011 but it's been a good year for me and I hope the new one will indeed be as kind. Happy New Year!

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  6. I felt the same way, Rowan. Wishing you the best in this new year.

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  7. What a lovely poem.

    There was a wistfulness and melancholy throughout, but it came out strongest for me in this stanza:

    The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
    Has now no hopes to wake;
    Yet one hour more of jest and song
    For his familiar sake.
    Oh stay, oh stay,
    One mirthful hour, and then away.


    I like how he talks about the year like a friend about to depart. And I love the poem's optimism, in spite of everything.

    I hope your coming year is a great one.

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  8. HKatz, it is such a joy for me to come upon an old poem like this. I really love it, and am so pleased you enjoyed it, too.

    And the same to you, HKatz and Staci!

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  9. Happy New Year, my dear friend. Love the poem.

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  10. Always SO happy to see your name here, my dear Marty!

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