« ПредишнаНапред »
One by one thy duties wait thee:
Let thy whole strength go to each;
Learn thou first what those can teach.
Joys are sent thee here below:
Ready, too, to let them go.
Do not fear an armed band;
Shadows passing through the land.
See how small each moment's pain ;
Every day begins again.
Has its task to do or bear;
If thou set each gem with care.
Or for passing hours despond;
Look too eagerly beyond.
Reaching heaven ; but, one by one,
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
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 :
THE NEW YEAR.
The prospect is not good that way.
And 'gainst ourselves to prophesy
A more tormenting mischief brings,
But that which this way looks is clear,
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
HYMN FOR THE OPENING YEAR.
As through the woods the ysweep,
Awakes to sigh and weep.
Grief clouds the soul at first,
On startled conscience burst.
But as the balmy air of spring
The brooding clouds dispel,
The clustering bud to swell;
Contrition's gloom away;
In joys that last for aye.
With all its golden hours,
As winter's leafless bowers;
Unscale my blinded eye,
Which thine own hand will dry !
Let all old things be pass'd away
With that old fruitless year,
My new-born soul to cheer.