Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Old and New" by Benjamin F. Leggett (1877)

Old and New


The temple arches of the midnight glow

With diamond splendors o'er the hills of snow.

A bended form with wrinkled visage waits

Before the threshold of the temple gates.

With snowy beard and frosty staff he stands,

And backward looks across the dusky lands.

The old light glows and kindles in his eyes

While past his gaze the visions sweep and rise.

The shadowed faces of the nation's turn

To him for blessing, while they wait and yearn.

While Afric's land emerging from eclipse

Sits dumb no more with silence on her lips.

And Asia looks across a hemisphere

Expectant, for the morning to appear—

While Europe's discord holds its vengeful sway

And breaks the world's broad charm of peace to-day,

Columbia, crowned with clustered stars appears

With all the glory of her hundred years!—

Above all lands which war's red passion mars

The Old year's faith stands higher than the stars.

And while he waits, the soft and mellow chime

Of jangled sweetness from the bells of time

Breaks into song,—the gates of midnight swing,

And he is gone—the young New Year is king!

Troy Daily Times. January 6, 1877

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