31 December 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 4

A Song for New Year's Eve

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—

      Stay till the good old year,

So long companion of our way,

      Shakes hands, and leaves us here.

            Oh stay, oh stay,

One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,

      Has now no hopes to wake;

Yet one hour more of jest and song

       For his familiar sake.

            Oh stay, oh stay,

One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands

      Have lavished all his store.

And shall we turn from where he stands,

      Because he gives no more?

            Oh stay, oh stay,

One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,

      While yet he was our guest;

How cheerfully the week was spent!

      How sweet the seventh day's rest!

            Oh stay, oh stay,

One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep

      Beneath the coffin-lid:

What pleasant memories we keep

      Of all they said and did!

            Oh stay, oh stay,

One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,

      And leaves our sphere behind.

The good old year is with the past;

      Oh be the new as kind!

            Oh stay, oh stay,

One parting strain, and then away.

About the author:

1794-1878. William Cullen Bryant was a poet and journalist best known for his poem "Thanatopsis." Active in the politics of a handful of political parties over the course of his life, his speech in favor of Abraham Lincoln at Cooper Union in 1860 helped propel Lincoln toward winning the Republican Party nomination. Learn more about Bryant.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 4, where "A Song for New Year's Eve" ran on December 31, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic, rhyme.

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