The “Friend” often published poems to welcome in the New Year.
This one is from our Archives, published at the close of 1891, looking forward to 1892.
One hundred and thirty years later, we still reflect on each old year as it passes and nurse hopes that the coming year will bring good fortune.
However, as the New Year says in the final verse, we must simply take it as we find it!
Stranger, come in! Your face is new
But, since you have been sent us,
We ope the door – what can we do?
Your coming seems portentous
For haunting sounds are in the air,
And all the winds are sighing;
And bells are tolling everywhere
A requiem for the dying.
Come in, come in! – but smile not yet,
Our hearts must hold their sadness
A little while, ere they forget,
And welcome you with gladness.
For he who goes – ah, he was good!
And filled our lap with treasures;
A swift tear falls in gratitude
For ‘91’s lost pleasures.
You’re looking in? The threshold’s bare;
Stranger, you need not fear us!
If we are circled round with care,
Come, do your best to cheer us.
Give us some sunshine through the smoke,
That Heaven may be seen o’er us;
For often we poor human folk
Scarce see a step before us.
Give us a grip of old “John Frost”
(We’re almost tired of waiting).
For what the youngsters long for most
Are holidays and skating.
Give a few dances for our girls,
Make business somewhat brisker;
Give fortune’s wheel a few good twirls,
Then as to Fate – I’ll risk her!
Give peace and order in our streets,
Good rulers to each city;
Let man hate every wrong he meets,
And women weep in pity.
The Old Year’s gone! now close the door,
And to our wishes hearken!
We’ll tell you nigh a thousand more
Ere your first daylight darken.
“Peace, peace, good friend; I’ll promise naught,
Just take you as you find me;
Some hope and joy to earth I’ve brought
And good I’ll leave behind me.”
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