Saturday 31 December 2016

The Old Year, and the New

We must bid good-bye to you, Old Year,
    Time’s sands are well-nigh run;
We bid farewell with much regret
    But, alas? it must be done.

Your cup of sorrow was great, Old Year,
    Almost full to the brim;
You oft drank of the waters of Marah,
    Mercifully slaked with Elim.

The Reaper Death was busy, Old Year,
    His scythe cut many down;
We trust, through faith and service,
    They gained an immortal crown.

You witnessed sad grief, Old Year—
    Bereavement, anxiety, pain;
The world seemed groaning with sorrow.
    And tears were hard to restrain.

Hark! ’tis the last stroke of midnight,
    The Old Year has silently fled;
It has joined the many before it,
    It is numbered with the dead.

We turn to greet the New Year,
    We stand at its portals so clean;
No foot has yet crossed its threshold.
    All its plans are yet unseen.

“We have not passed this way heretofore,”
    The road may seem dark and strange;
But God, who upholds the universe,
    Can surely our short lives arrange.

We cannot see into the future,
    We know not what is in store;
But the Father’s love and protection
    Encompass us evermore.

With courage we enter the New Year,
    Taking short views of the way;
Having faith that our Leader
    Will give grace and strength each day.

We pray to the God of armies,
    That He grant strife and bloodshed to cease;
And send to all the nations
    In the New Year, lasting peace.

Jane Thomson, Cullycapple, Aghadowey.

Poem: The Witness, 29th December 1916
Image: Edinburgh Castle with fireworks at New Year by Andy Peutherer.

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