As a life-weary pilgrim sinks to his last repose,
The old year, pale and pulseless, swoons o'er the drifting snows;
He's gone to join the ages, in the past years laid away,
To sleep in time's mausoleum, until the judgment day.
When he wav'd his fairy spring wand, the airs grew balmy sweet,
There op'd the blue-ey'd violets, in every dusk retreat,
Then snow-white bloom of orchards, and floral offerings rare,
Illumin'd all the landscape, and perfum'd all the air.
His magic wand touch'd tree and shrub, touch'd arbor, sprig and spray,
And quick, suffusing smiles of green would o'er the tendrils play,
They blush'd with joy, as all their buds their folded lips unclos'd,
And their virgin pearly leaves, and petals red disclos'd.
Then all the painted butterflies enjoy'd their little hour,
They flew like winged blossoms, from floweret to flower,
In honeysuckles dipped the bees, to sip from hidden wells
The sweet, ambrosial nectar, and bear it to their cells.
We saw thee in thy summer prime, in all thy bravery dressed,
Thy woods in wealth of foliage, by gentle airs caress'd,
Thy limpid lakes reflecting the colors of the skies,
And all the dales and mountains made gay with flowery dyes.
Ah, pleasant the wide landscape, in your bright summer prime,
The clear, swift, shaded brooks, with their unceasing chime,
Where droop'd the birch and alder, the willow's tresses green,
And oakes and elms on upland slopes, a pastoral, fair scene.
Thy luminous day-skies, the moonlit shades of night,
When sweetest sounds of nature are a blessing and delight;
When chants and hymns of bird life, of blackbird and of thrush
Entrance with soothing melodies the universal hush.
We welcom'd thee in autumn, o'er all the harvest plain,
Thy forehead thick enwreath'd with chaplets of the grain,
When the orchards drop the fruit, and purple grapes hang sweet,
And the sportsman's shots are ringing in field and wood retreat.
And in this winter season, when icicles like gems,
Adorn each twig and bush with twinkling diadems,
We welcome the New Year, for o'er the falling snow,
The sounds of merry laughter and jocund carols flow.
To all who love the transports of forest and the stream,
To hunt the deer, to take the fish that in the waters gleam,
To seek the duck and partridge, the woodcock and the quail,
We send a New Year's greeting, we say to them "All hail!"
May the New Year rejoice you, with all delights of life,
Prosperities, endearments, of home and child and wife,
May the lights of love and friendship, burn ever pure and clear,
No household glooms, no shades of death, to darken o'er the year.