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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
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All Entries 2002
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The Passing of the Year

Published by Susan on 07/22/2003 (4704 reads)
My glass is filled, my pipe is lit...

My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,
          My den is all a cosy glow;
And snug before the fire I sit,
          And wait to feel the old year go.
I dedicate to solemn thought
          Amid my too-unthinking days,
This sober moment, sadly fraught
          With much of blame, with little praise.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time
          You stand to bow your last adieu;
A moment, and the prompter's chime
          Will ring the curtain down on you.
Your mien is sad, your step is slow;
          You falter as a Sage in pain;
Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,
          And face your audience again.

That sphinx-like face, remote, austere,
          Let us all read, whate'er the cost:
O Maiden! why that bitter tear?
          Is it for dear one you have lost?
Is it for fond illusion gone?
          For trusted lover proved untrue?
O sweet girl-face, so sad, so wan
          What hath the Old Year meant to you?

And you, O neighbour on my right
          So sleek, so prosperously clad!
What see you in that aged wight
          That makes your smile so gay and glad?
What opportunity unmissed?
          What golden gain, what pride of place?
What splendid hope? O Optimist!
          What read you in that withered face?

And You, deep shrinking in the gloom,
          What find you in that filmy gaze?
What menace of a tragic doom?
          What dark, condemning yesterdays?
What urge to crime, what evil done?
          What cold, confronting shape of fear?
O haggard, haunted, hidden One
          What see you in the dying year?

And so from face to face I flit,
          The countless eyes that stare and stare;
Some are with approbation lit,
          And some are shadowed with despair.
Some show a smile and some a frown;
          Some joy and hope, some pain and woe:
Enough! Oh, ring the curtain down!
          Old weary year! it's time to go.

My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
          My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
          And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that's true,
          For we've been comrades, you and I --
I thank God for each day of you;
          There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!

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