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At the Entering of the New Year by Thomas Hardy | Poets.org

At the Entering of the New Year

I

(OLD STYLE)

 

Our songs went up and out the chimney,

And roused the home-gone husbandmen;

Our allemands, our heys, poussettings,

Our hands-across and back again,

Sent rhythmic throbbings through the casements

On to the white highway,

Where nighted farers paused and muttered,

"Keep it up well, do they!"

 

The contrabasso's measured booming

Sped at each bar to the parish bounds,

To shepherds at their midnight lambings,

To stealthy poachers on their rounds;

And everybody caught full duly

The notes of our delight,

As Time unrobed the Youth of Promise

Hailed by our sanguine sight.

 

II

(NEW STYLE)

 

We stand in the dusk of a pine-tree limb,

As if to give ear to the muffled peal,

Brought or withheld at the breeze's whim;

But our truest heed is to words that steal

From the mantled ghost that looms in the gray,

And seems, so far as our sense can see,

To feature bereaved Humanity,

As it sighs to the imminent year its say:-

 

"O stay without, O stay without,

Calm comely Youth, untasked, untired;

Though stars irradiate thee about

Thy entrance here is undesired.

Open the gate not, mystic one;

Must we avow what we would close confine?

With thee, good friend, we would have

converse none,

Albeit the fault may not be thine."

 

 

December 31. During the War.

Born in Dorsetshire, England, in 1840, Hardy began his writing career as a novelist, publishing Desperate Remedies in 1871.

 

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