The Old Year plays a mournful dirge
On his organ dusty, dim.
He awaits the full, hateful hour
When the New Year will march in.
A blast flinches the candle flames
The Old Year’s strength grows feeble.
Dark tear glistens on hoary cheek
Against the coming evil.
And see the New Year coming;
Mark her blithesome pipers.
A wreath of blossoms crowns her brow
A gladdened tune she’s humming.
She treads a path of melting snow,
Winter shivers in her wake.
Up to the church where soon she’ll reign.
Icicles snap, fall, and break.
The New Year dances up the aisle
Young and light and bright is she.
The Old Year turns from organ keys
Fearing, to face the beauty.
Seeing her young girlish face
The Old Year does recall,
That mirror of springtime whispers
Echoing his former grace.
Casting out all anxious keening,
New Year clasps the Old Year’s hands.
They dance through caliginous dusk
Laughing at the night’s demands.
This in past and this in future
Always then shall be the way.
Darkness falls and dead men lecture
Never marring break of day.
Mourn not for Old Year’s leaving,
Lest springtime pass you by.
Stroking the bark of withered trees
Leaves April’s blossoms grieving.
As he passes into the night
The Old Year turns ‘round once more.
The New Year’s pipers warble sweet
Up and up the glad notes soar.
The Old Year passes silently;
Light from windows fades away,
Leaving the steady candlelight
To brighten each song, each day.