Hand in Hand/New Year’s Eve

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For works with similar titles, see New Year's Eve.

New Year's Eve

A Man and Woman speak.

"WHAT did Old Year bring us, dear?
Much of good, and some of bad,
Hours merry, moments sad.
Brought us love, and brought us laughter,
With a touch of sorrow after,
And an armful of hope, and a handful of fear,
Good-bye, and bless you then, Old Year!"

A Woman speaks.

"What did Old Year bring to me?
Brought me months of bitter sorrow,
Black the day, and dark the morrow,
Brought a hope that soon was gone,
Left a grave to weep upon,
And a grief to endure through the time still to be.
Old Year, I have no thanks for thee!"

A Child speaks.

"I'll be better in New Year.
This year's toys were quickly broken,
Bad cross words so soon were spoken.
Now, I'll think before I say things,
And I'll take care of my playthings,
And I'll answer the minute that nurse calls "Come here."
Oh, do make haste and go, Old Year!"

The Old Year speaks.

"I must pass to-night beyond life and light,
For the New Year comes apace.
The bell strikes One. 'Tis the chime begun
That tolls me to my place.
The strokes come fast: in the time that's past,
For a weary and thankless crew,
I did my best and I go to my rest,
Saddened yet joyful too.
It strikes Eleven! One instant even,
My end comes and I die:
The joy bells ring for the coming King!
Twelve! Twelve! I go. Good-bye."

The New Year speaks.

"I come as a child, a king, a hope,
A promise of good to be;

Though no man may cast my horoscope,
And fathom futurity.
Plenty and ease, a garnered store,
And the wealth of the fruitful earth,
I may give perchance,—or famine sore
And the pitiful pinch of dearth.
I am the bringer to young and old,
Of gifts that they shun and crave:
Change, and sorrow, and love, and gold,
And to some the gift of a grave.
But to all the comfort of hope new-born.
Of a sunrise dawning clear,
That makes men smile on my First Day's morn,
And speak of "A Happy New Year."