Monday, December 30, 2013

"To the Passing Year" by Eva E. Ames (1922)

To the Passing Year.


Shake hands, old year! and call it square.

        We'll bear no malice, you or I.

Each meant to play the other fair

        And true, I hope, as time flew by.

My failures and mistakes you knew,

        But judged me kindly just the same,

And if the victories were few

        My motives you could rightly name.

You may have thought I missed my way

        Sometimes, and failed to wisely choose

Twixt this or that, as, day by day,

        We played the game of gain or lose;

I may have flet you owed me more

        Of this world's goods than I received:

A fuller measure of Earth's store,

        Or friends, in whom I had believed.

You gave me time to do my best;

        I tried and failed—the common fate.

We do not realize the rest of life

        Until the hour is late,

And if achievements small are mine—

        All through the days so lately gone,

True sentinels adown the line

        Signal—"'T is better — further on."

Farewell! and shall we meet no more?

        Our ways so different lie—old friend,

Adrift—in touch with memories' shore,

        You fade from sight around the bend.

New years may come—as yet unborn,

        And take their places at your side,

Before Eternity's fair morn

        For me shall fling the portals wide.

And though I wait, and vainly grieve,

        For loved ones whom no more I see,

And blessings flown, they—I believe—

        In greater measure wait for me.

I'll keep your memory fair and green,

        Would I could bury, at your brink,

Misunderstandings, cold and keen,

        That bid the heart in anguish shrink.

And does there beat a heart so cold

        It feels no need of love—or heaven?

So proud and perfect in its mold

        It can't forgive—and be forgiven?

Good-bye! We'll not regret the past:

        The way to both was all untried,

Our labor was before the mast

        Of discipline, and high the tide.

A harbor opens—wide and fair,

        The new year glides into the sea.

With snowwhite sail, and beauty rare,

        She enters on her voyage free.

The storms will sweep across her bow,

        And clouds obscure her joyous sky.

For life means that—this life of now—

        Old year! old friend! good-bye! Good-bye!

        South Wallingford, Vt.

Troy Times. December 30, 1922: 3 col 3.

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