The Old Year dies to-night. With glee to-morrow
We’ll see the New Year rise.
But now we feel no joy; for we in sorrow
Watch while the Old Year dies.
Trees with uplifted arms, like priests, are praying
For the departing one.
Sadly the breeze on sylvan harps is playing
For him whose race is run.
We think of all the friends the year took from us;
Of friends he sent our way;
Of resolution kept, of broken promise:-
We sigh and try to pray.
He carried us along ‘mid pains and pleasures;
Laden with gifts was he.
Tonight we mourn inestimable treasures
Squandered most recklessly.
The glad, the sad, the dear old year is dying.
In vain our sighs and tears.
Oceans of teardrops, centuries of sighing
Will not bring back dead years.
MICHAEL MULLIN, ‘The Bard of Foremass’,
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.