As one in sorrow looks upon
     The dead face of a loyal friend,
By the dim light of New Year’s dawn
     I saw the Old Year end.
Upon the pallid features lay
     The dear old smile—so warm and bright
Ere thus its cheer had died away
     In ashes of delight.
The hands that I had learned to love
     With strength of passion half divine,
Were folded now, all heedless of
     The emptiness of mine.
The eyes that once had shed their bright
     Sweet looks like sunshine, now were dull,
And ever lidded from the light
     That made them beautiful.


The chimes of bells were in the air,
     And sounds of mirth in hall and street,
With pealing laughter everywhere
     And throb of dancing feet:
The mirth and the convivial din
     Of revelers in wanton glee,
With tunes of harp and violin
     In tangled harmony.
But with a sense of nameless dread,
     I turned me, from the merry face
Of this newcomer, to my dead;
     And, kneeling there a space,
I sobbed aloud, all tearfully:—
     By this dear face so fixed and cold,
O Lord, let not this New Year be
     As happy as the old!
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