Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
The Death of the Old Year
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
 
FULL knee-deep lies the winter snow,
    And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church-bell sad and slow,
And tread softly, and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.        5
    Old year, you must not die;
    You came to us so readily,
    You lived with us so steadily,
    Old year, you shall not die.
 
He lieth still: he doth not move:        10
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He gave me a friend, and a true true-love,
And the New-year will take ’em away.
    Old year, you must not go;        15
    So long as you have been with us,
    Such joy as you have seen with us,
    Old year, you shall not go.
 
He frothed his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.        20
But though his eyes are waxing dim,
And though his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.
    Old year, you shall not die;
    We did so laugh and cry with you,        25
    I’ve half a mind to die with you,
    Old year, if you must die.
 
He was full of joke and jest;
But all his merry quips are o’er:
To see him die, across the waste        30
His son and heir doth ride post-haste;
But he’ll be dead before.
    Every one for his own.
    The night is starry and cold, my friend,
    And the New-year blithe and bold, my friend,        35
    Comes up to take his own.
 
How hard he breathes! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows flicker to and fro;
The cricket chirps; the light burns low:        40
’Tis nearly twelve o’clock.
    Shake hands, before you die.
    Old year, we’ll dearly rue for you:
    What is it we can do for you?
    Speak out before you die.        45
 
His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone.
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,        50
    And waiteth at the door.
    There’s a new foot on the floor, my friend,
    And a new face at the door, my friend,
    A new face at the door.
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors