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One by one thy duties wait thee:

Let thy whole strength go to each;
Let no future dreams elate thee:

Learn thou first what those can teach.
One by one, bright gifts from heaven,

Joys are sent thee here below:
Take them readily when given,

Ready, too, to let them go.
One by one thy griefs shall meet thee:

Do not fear an armed band;
One will fade as others reach thee,

Shadows passing through the land.
Do not look at life's long sorrow,

See how small each moment's pain ;
God will help thee, for to-morrow

Every day begins again.
Every hour that fleets so slowly

Has its task to do or bear;
Luminous the crown, and holy,

If thou set each gem with care.
Do not linger with regretting,

Or for passing hours despond;
Nor, the daily toil forgetting,

Look too eagerly beyond.
Hours are golden links, God's token,

Reaching heaven ; but, one by one,
Take them, lest the chain be broken

Ere the pilgrimage be done.

Robert Burns, in a familiar sketch addressed to Mrs. Dunlop, dwells on the most solemn thoughts which at this season can be presented to the human mind :

ON NEW YEAR'S DAY. This day Time winds th' exhausted chain, To run the twelvemonth's length again; I see the old bald-pated fellow, With ardent eyes, complexion sallow, Adjust the unimpair'd machine, To whirl the equal, dull routine. The absent lover, minor, heir, In vain assail him with their prayer. Deaf, as my friend, he sees them press Nor makes the hour one moment less. Will you (the major's with the hounds : The happy tenants share his rounds: Ceila's fair Rachel's care to-day, And blooming Keith's engaged with Gray) From housewife cares a minute borrowThat grandchild's cap will make to-morrowAnd join with me a-moralizing ? This day's propitious to be wise in. First, what did yesternight deliver ? “ Another year is gone for ever.” And what is this day's strong suggestion? The passing moment's all we rest on. Rest on—for what? What do we here? Or why regard the passing year? Will Tiine, amused with proverb'd lore, Add to our date one minute more? A few days may, a few years must, Repose us in the silent dust; Then is it wise to damp our bliss ? Yes—all such reasonings are amiss ! The voice of Nature loudly cries, And many a message from the skies, That something in us never dies; That on this frail uncertain state Hang matters of eternal weight;

That future life in worlds unknown
Must take its hue from this alone;
Whether as heavenly glory bright,
Or dark as misery's woeful night!
Since, then, my honour'd, first of friends,
On this poor being all depends,
Let us th' important Now employ,

And live as those that never die. In times of public danger or disturbance the New Year suggests to anxious minds a train of gloomy forebodings; for these we may find some wholesome antidotes in the sensible and cheerful views of the worthy Cotton, friend and companion of good old Izaak Walton, the celebrated angler :

Hark, the cock crows, and yon bright star
Tells us the day himself's not far;
And see, where, breaking from the night,
He gilds the western hills with light.
With him old Janus doth appear,
Peeping into the opening year,
With such a look as seems to say

The prospect is not good that way.
· Thus do we rise ill sights to see,

And 'gainst ourselves to prophesy
When the prophetic fear of things

A more tormenting mischief brings,
More full of soul-tormenting gall
Than direst mischiefs can befal.
But stay! but stay! methinks my sight,
Better inform’d by clearer light,
Discerns sereneness in that brow
That all contracted seem'd but now.
His reversed face may show distaste,
And frown upon the ills now past;

But that which this way looks is clear,
And smiles upon the new-born year.
He looks, too, from a place so high,
The year lies open to his eye;
And all the moments open are
To the exact discoverer.
Yet more and more he smiles upon
The happy revolution. .
Why should we, then, suspect or fear
The influences of a year,
So smiles upon us the first morn,
And speaks us good as soon as born ?
Plague on't! the last was ill enough,
This cannot but make better proof;
Or, at the worst, as we brush'd through
The last, why, so we may this too;
And then the next in reason should
Be super-excellently good:
For the worst ills we daily see
Have no more perpetuity
Than the best fortunes that do fall;
Which also brings us wherewithal
Longer their being to support,
Than those do of the other sort :
And who has one good year in three,
And yet repines at destiny,
Appears ungrateful in the case,
And merits not the good he has.
Then let us welcome the new guest
With lusty brimmers of the best :
Mirth always should good fortune meet,
And render e'en disaster sweet;
And though the princess turn her back,
Let us but line ourselves with sack,
We better shall by far hold out,
Till the next year she face about.

COTTON (born 1630).

The “holy-tide” is over ; the old year is gone for ever; and we close the rejoicings of New Year's Day with this

'Midst wintry gloom, and winds that wail

As through the woods the ysweep,
The new-born year, all sad and pale,

Awakes to sigh and weep.
Even so the life of youth begins-

Grief clouds the soul at first,
When all at once unheeded sins

On startled conscience burst.

But as the balmy air of spring

The brooding clouds dispel,
Or from their breasts sweet moisture bring,

The clustering bud to swell;
So gales of heavenly comfort sweep

Contrition's gloom away;
And they who sow in tears shall reap

In joys that last for aye.
Lord, if the year that now has flown,

With all its golden hours,
Has left my soul as dark and dead

As winter's leafless bowers;
Oh! make me now myself to know,

Unscale my blinded eye,
And bid those blessed tears to flow

Which thine own hand will dry !

Let all old things be pass'd away

With that old fruitless year,
And make a new and glorious day

My new-born soul to cheer.

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