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From The Old To The New – Lines For The New Year
by [?]


I hear the beat of the unresting tide
On either shore as swiftly on I glide
With eager haste the narrow channel o’er,
Which links the floods behind with those before.
I hear behind me as I onward glide,
Faint, farewell voices blending with the tide,
While from beyond, now near, now far away,
Come stronger voices chiding each delay;
And drowning, oft, with wild, discordant burst,
The melancholy minor of the first

“Farewell! farewell!–ye leave us far behind you!”–
Tis thus the bright-winged Hours sigh from the Past–
“Ye leave us, and the coming ones will find you
Still vainly dreaming they will ever last,–
Still trifling with the gifts all fresh and glowing,
Each in its turn will scatter in your way,–
Still chasing airy phantoms, though well-knowing
That, ere you grasp them, they will melt away–
Farewell! farewell!”

“Haste! haste! haste!”–
Thus from the Future the voices ring–
“The air is balmy with breath of spring,
The waters sleep in the morning light,
The storms are hushed, and the skies are bright,
Haste! haste! haste!

“Isles of beauty and bloom are here,
Groves, whose leafage is never sere,
Teeming harvests of boundless wealth,
Peace, and plenty, and buoyant health–
Haste! haste! haste!

“Joy-bells ring in the sunny air,
Mirth and music are everywhere,–
Bend to the oars, and away, away
While the ripples dance and the breezes play–
Haste! haste! haste!”

“Farewell! farewell!–ye leave us far behind you–
Us, the lost Hours that would have blessed you so!
Yet, as ye leave us, let our strains remind you
That we, not empty-handed, Heavenward go.
Records we bear of all the good we brought you,–
Of all we offered,-all that ye refused,–
Of all the lessons we in patience taught you,–
Of wasted time, of privilege abused;
To God’s tribunal we those records bear,
Sometime, remember, they will meet you there–
Farewell! farewell!”