Hellooo, 2015!

Hellooo, 2015!

2015 cloud

Last year for New Year’s Day we gave you Lord Alfred Tennyson’s “Ring Out, Wild Bells”; here are two stanzas to refresh your memory:

 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.

*    *     *

This year, we present “The Old Year” by John Clare (1793-1864):

 The Old Year’s gone away

     To nothingness and night:

John Clare by William HiltonWe cannot find him all the day

     Nor hear him in the night:

He left no footstep, mark or place

     In either shade or sun:

The last year he’d a neighbour’s face,

     In this he’s known by none.

All nothing everywhere:

     Mists we on mornings see

Have more of substance when they’re here

     And more of form than he.

He was a friend by every fire,

     In every cot and hall–

A guest to every heart’s desire,

     And now he’s nought at all.

Old papers thrown away,

     Old garments cast aside,

The talk of yesterday,

     Are things identified;

But time once torn away

     No voices can recall:

The eve of New Year’s Day

     Left the Old Year lost to all.

This poem is in the public domain, as is the portrait of John Clare by William Hilton (d. 1839), which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

 


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