34 Greatest Poems for New Year

New Year, New Beginning, is what I love the most about celebrating this holiday. There will always be another chance for us to start again and give ourselves a chance to be a better version. Last year was quite a challenging year due to the pandemic; hopefully, this year will be better.

These are thirty-four (34) greatest poems for New Year. If you also like this holiday, these poems are for you.

The New Year

Be welcome, year! with corn and sickle come;
Make poor the body, but make rich the heart:
What man that bears his sheaves, gold-nodding, home,
Will heed the paint rubbed from his groaning cart!

Nor leave behind thy fears and holy shames,
Thy sorrows on the horizon hanging low–
Gray gathered fuel for the sunset-flames
When joyous in death’s harvest-home we go.

George MacDonald

New Year.

If I resolve, with the new year,
A better child to be,
‘Twill do no good at all, I fear,
But rather harm to me,

Unless I try, with every day,
No angry word to speak;
Unless, each morn, to God I pray
To keep me mild and meek.

Then let me try with all my might,
And may God help me too,
Always to choose the way that’s right,
Whatever act I do.

H. P. Nichols

New Year

Each year cometh with all his days,
Some are shadowed and some are bright;
He beckons us on until he stays
Kneeling with us ‘neath Christmas night.

Kneeling under the stars that gem
The holy sky, o’er the humble place,
When the world’s sweet Child of Bethlehem
Rested on Mary, full of grace.

Not only the Bethlehem in the East,
But altar Bethlehem everywhere,
When the ~Gloria~ of the first great feast
Rings forth its gladness on the air.

Each year seemeth loath to go,
And leave the joys of Christmas day;
In lands of sun and in lands of snow,
The year still longs awhile to stay.

A little while, ’tis hard to part
From this Christ blessed here below,
Old year! and in thy aged heart
I hear thee sing so sweet and low.

A song like this, but sweeter far,
And yet as if with a human tone,
Under the blessed Christmas star,
And thou descendest from thy throne.

“A few more days and I am gone,
The hours move swift and sure along;
Yet still I fain would linger on
In hearing of the Christmas song.

“I bow to Him who rules all years;
Thrice blessed is His high behest;
Nor will He blame me if, with tears,
I pass to my eternal rest.

“Ah, me! to altars every day
I brought the sun and the holy Mass;
The people came by my light to pray,
While countless priests did onward pass.

“The words of the Holy Thursday night
To one another from east to west;
And the holy Host on the altar white
Would take its little half-hour’s rest.

“And every minute of every hour
The Mass bell rang with its sound so sweet,
While from shrine to shrine, with tireless power,
And heaven’s love, walked the nailed feet.

“I brought the hours for ~Angelus~ bells,
And from a thousand temple towers
They wound their sweet and blessed spell
Around the hearts of all the hours.

“Every day has a day of grace
For those who fain would make them so;
I saw o’er the world in every place
The wings of guardian angels glow.

“Men! could you hear the song I sing —
But no, alas! it cannot be so!
My heir that comes would only bring
Blessings to bless you here below.”

* * * * *

Seven days passed; the gray, old year
Calls to his throne the coming heir;
Falls from his eyes the last, sad tear,
And lo! there is gladness everywhere.

Singing, I hear the whole world sing,
Afar, anear, aloud, alow:
“What to us will the New Year bring!”
Ah! would that each of us might know!

Is it not truth? as old as true?
List ye, singers, the while ye sing!
Each year bringeth to each of you
What each of you will have him bring.

The year that cometh is a king,
With better gifts than the old year gave;
If you place on his fingers the holy ring
Of prayer, the king becomes your slave.

Abram Joseph Ryan

New Year

Know this! there is nothing can harm you
If you are at peace with your soul.
Know this, and the knowledge shall arm you
With courage and strength to the goal.
Your spirit shall break every fetter,
And love shall cast out every fear.
And grander, and gladder, and better
Shall be every added new year.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

New Year

New Year, I look straight in your eyes –
Our ways and our interests blend;
You may be a foe in disguise,
But I shall believe you a friend.
We get what we give in our measure,
We cannot give pain and get pleasure;
I give you good will and good cheer,
And you must return it, New Year.

We get what we give in this life,
Though often the giver indeed
Waits long upon doubting and strife
Ere proving the truth of my creed.
But somewhere, some way, and for ever
Reward is the meed of endeavour;
And if I am really worth while,
New Year, you will give me your smile.

You hide in your mystical hand
No “luck” that I cannot control,
If I trust my own courage and stand
On the Infinite strength of my soul.
Man holds in his brain and his spirit
A power that is God-like, or near it,
And he who has measured his force
Can govern events and their course.

You come with a crown on your brow,
New Year, without blemish or spot;
Yet you, and not I, sir, must bow,
For time is the servant of thought
Whatever you bring me of trouble
Shall turn into good, and then double,
If my spirit looks up without fear
To the Source that you came from, New Year.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

New Year

‘The night is cold, the hour is late, the world is bleak and
Who is it knocking at my door?’

‘I am Good Cheer.’

‘Your voice is strange; I know you not; in shadows dark I grope.
What seek you here?’

‘Friend, let me in; my name is Hope.’

‘And mine is Failure; you but mock the life you seek to bless.
Pass on.’

‘Nay, open wide the door; I am Success.’

‘But I am ill and spent with pain; too late has come your wealth.
I cannot use it.’

‘Listen, friend; I am Good Health.’

‘Now, wide I fling my door. Come in, and your fair statements

‘But you must open, too, your heart, for I am Love.’

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The New Year.

Lift up thy torch, O Year, and let us see
What Destiny
Hath made thee heir to at nativity!

Doubt, some call Faith; and ancient Wrong and Might,
Whom some name Right;
And Darkness, that the purblind world calls Light.

Despair, with Hope’s brave form; and Hate, who goes
In Friendship’s clothes;
And Happiness, the mask of many woes.

Neglect, whom Merit serves; Lust, to whom, see,
Love bends the knee;
And Selfishness, who preacheth charity.

Vice, in whose dungeon Virtue lies in chains;
And Cares and Pains,
That on the throne of Pleasure hold their reigns.

Corruption, known as Honesty; and Fame
That’s but a name;
And Innocence, the outward guise of Shame.

And Folly, men call Wisdom here, forsooth;
And, like a youth,
Fair Falsehood, whom some worship for the Truth.

Abundance, who hath Famine’s house in lease;
And, high ‘mid these,
War, blood-black, on the spotless shrine of Peace.

Lift up thy torch, O Year! assist our sight!
Deep lies the night
Around us, and GOD grants us little light!

Madison Julius Cawein

A New Year

Behold! a new white world!
The falling snow
Has cloaked the last old year
And bid him go.

To-morrow! cries the oak
To his lone heart,
My sealèd buds shall fling
Their leaves apart.

To-morrow! pipes the thrush,
And once again
How sweet the nest that long
Was full of rain.

To-morrow! bleats the sheep,
And one by one
My little lambs shall play
Beneath the sun.

For us, too, let some fair
To-morrow be,
O Thou who weavest threads
Of Destiny!

Thou wast a babe on that
Far Christmas Day,
Let us as children go
Upon Thy way.

So that our hearts grown cold
‘Neath time and pain,
With young sweet faith may bloom
All green again;

That empty promises
Of passing years
Spring into life, and not
Repenting tears;

So that our deeds upon
The earth may go,
As innocent as lambs,
And pure as snow

Dora Sigerson Shorter

New Year Resolve

As the dead year is clasped by a dead December,
So let your dead sins with your dead days lie.
A new life is yours and a new hope. Remember
We build our own ladders to climb to the sky.

Stand out in the sunlight of promise, forgetting
Whatever the past held of sorrow and wrong.
We waste half our strength in a useless regretting;
We sit by old tombs in the dark too long.

Have you missed in your aim? Well, the mark is still shining.
Did you faint in the race? Well, take breath for the next.
Did the clouds drive you back? But see yonder their lining.
Were you tempted and fell? Let it serve for a text.

As each year hurries by, let it join that procession
Of skeleton shapes that march down to the past,
While you take your place in the line of progression,
With your eyes to the heavens, your face to the blast.

I tell you the future can hold no terrors
For any sad soul while the stars revolve,
If he will stand firm on the grave of his errors,
And instead of regretting – resolve, resolve!

It is never too late to begin rebuilding,
Though all into ruins your life seems hurled;
For see! how the light of the New Year is gilding
The wan, worn face of the bruised old world.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The New Year.


Not while the snow-shroud round dead earth is rolled,
And naked branches point to frozen skies, –
When orchards burn their lamps of fiery gold,
The grape glows like a jewel, and the corn
A sea of beauty and abundance lies,
Then the new year is born.

Look where the mother of the months uplifts
In the green clearness of the unsunned West,
Her ivory horn of plenty, dropping gifts,
Cool, harvest-feeding dews, fine-winnowed light;
Tired labor with fruition, joy and rest
Profusely to requite.

Blow, Israel, the sacred cornet! Call
Back to thy courts whatever faint heart throb
With thine ancestral blood, thy need craves all.
The red, dark year is dead, the year just born
Leads on from anguish wrought by priest and mob,
To what undreamed-of morn?

For never yet, since on the holy height,
The Temple’s marble walls of white and green
Carved like the sea-waves, fell, and the world’s light
Went out in darkness, – never was the year
Greater with portent and with promise seen,
Than this eve now and here.

Even as the Prophet promised, so your tent
Hath been enlarged unto earth’s farthest rim.
To snow-capped Sierras from vast steppes ye went,
Through fire and blood and tempest-tossing wave,
For freedom to proclaim and worship Him,
Mighty to slay and save.

High above flood and fire ye held the scroll,
Out of the depths ye published still the Word.
No bodily pang had power to swerve your soul:
Ye, in a cynic age of crumbling faiths,
Lived to bear witness to the living Lord,
Or died a thousand deaths.

In two divided streams the exiles part,
One rolling homeward to its ancient source,
One rushing sunward with fresh will, new heart.
By each the truth is spread, the law unfurled,
Each separate soul contains the nation’s force,
And both embrace the world.

Kindle the silver candle’s seven rays,
Offer the first fruits of the clustered bowers,
The garnered spoil of bees. With prayer and praise
Rejoice that once more tried, once more we prove
How strength of supreme suffering still is ours
For Truth and Law and Love.

Emma Lazarus

New Year, 1868.

Cradled in ice, and swathed in snows,
And shining like a Christmas rose,
Wreathed round with white chrysanthemums;
Heaven in his innocent, brave blue eyes,
Straight from the primal paradise,
Behold the infant New Year comes!

His looks a serious sweetness wear,
As if upon that unseen way,
Those baby hands that lightly bear
Garlands, and festive tokens gay,
For but a glance,–a touch sufficed,–
Had met and touched the infant Christ!

And lingering on the wing, had heard,
Sweeter than song of any bird,
Of cherub or of seraphim,
The notes of that divinest hymn,–
Glory to God in highest strain,
And peace on earth, good will to men.

Oh, diamond days, so royally set
In winter’s stern and rugged breast,
Like jewels in an amulet,–
Your light has cheered, and soothed, and blest,
The want and toil, the sighs and tears,
And sorrows-of a thousand years!

The bells ring in the merry morn,
The poor forget their poverty,
The saddest face grows bright with glee,
And smiles for joy that he is born;
The fair round world shines out with cheer,
To welcome in the glad New Year.

Oh ye, whose homes are warm and bright,
With plenty smiling at the board,
Remember those whose roofs to-night,
Nor warmth, nor light, nor food afford,
Still make those wants, and woes your care,
And let the poor your bounty share.

For yet our hills and lakes along
Echoes the herald angels’ song,–
Peace and good will!–oh look abroad,–
In every nation, tribe, and clan,
Behold the brotherhood of man,–
Behold the Fatherhood of God!

Peace to our mountains and our hills,–
Peace to our rivers and our rills;–
Our young Dominion takes her place
Among the nations west and east,–
God send her length of happy days,
And years of plenty and of peace!

Kate Seymour Maclean

New Year’s Dawn – Broadway

When the horns wear thin
And the noise, like a garment outworn,
Falls from the night,
The tattered and shivering night,
That thinks she is gay;
When the patient silence comes back,
And retires,
And returns,
Rebuffed by a ribald song,
Wounded by vehement cries,
Fleeing again to the stars
Ashamed of her sister the night;
Oh, then they steal home,
The blinded, the pitiful ones
With their gew-gaws still in their hands,
Reeling with odorous breath
And thick, coarse words on their tongues.
They get them to bed, somehow,
And sleep the forgiving,
Comes thru the scattering tumult
And closes their eyes.
The stars sink down ashamed
And the dawn awakes,
Like a youth who steals from a brothel,
Dizzy and sick.

Sara Teasdale

New Year’s Day

New Year, be good to England. Bid her name
Shine sunlike as of old on all the sea:
Make strong her soul: set all her spirit free:
Bind fast her homeborn foes with links of shame
More strong than iron and more keen than flame:
Seal up their lips for shame’s sake: so shall she
Who was the light that lightened freedom be,
For all false tongues, in all men’s eyes the same.
O last-born child of Time, earth’s eldest lord,
God undiscrowned of godhead, who for man
Begets all good and evil things that live,
Do thou, his new-begotten son, implored
Of hearts that hope and fear not, make thy span
Bright with such light as history bids thee give.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

New Year’s Day

When with clanging and with ringing
Comes the year’s initial day,
I can feel the rhythmic swinging
Of the world upon its way;
And though Right still wears a fetter,
And though Justice still is blind,
Time’s beyond is always better
Than the paths he leaves behind.

In our eons of existence,
As we circle through the night,
We annihilate the distance
‘Twixt the darkness and the light.
From beginnings crude and lowly,
Round and round our souls have trod
Through the circles, winding slowly
Up to knowledge and to God.

With each century departed
Some old evil found a tomb,
Some old truth was newly started
In propitious soil to bloom.
With each epoch some condition
That has handicapped the race
(Worn-out creed or superstition)
Unto knowledge yields its place.

Though in folly and in blindness
And in sorrow still we grope,
Yet in man’s increasing kindness
Lies the world’s stupendous hope;
For our darkest hour of errors
Is as radiant as the dawn,
Set beside the awful terrors
Of the ages that have gone.

And above the sad world’s sobbing,
And the strife of clan with clan,
I can hear the mighty throbbing
Of the heart of God in man;
And a voice chants through the chiming
Of the bells, and seems to say,
We are climbing, we are climbing,
As we circle on our way.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

New Year’s Day.

Hail! joyous morn. Hail! happy day,
That ushers in another year,
Fraught with what sorrow, none can say,
Nor with what pain, to mortals here.

Another year has roll’d away,
With all its sorrows, joys and fears,
But still the light of hope’s glad ray,
Yet beams within our heart, and cheers.

One year, one span of time has pass’d,
So swift to some, to others slow;
But it has gone, and we should cast
Along with it, remorse and woe.

Of things we’ve done, or only thought,
‘Tis useless now the bitter tear,
Of actions unavailing wrought,
Let them repose upon their bier.

We should, indeed, e’en yet atone
For what our reason says we can,
But never let remorse’s groan
Degrade us from our state as man.

Let us discharge the debts we owe,
But still some debts will be unpaid;
But we, if we forgive, also,
Should ne’er, despairing, feel afraid.

The future is before us still,
And to that future we should gaze,
With hope renew’d, with firmer will,
To tread life’s weary, tangl’d maze.

We ne’er should let the gloomy past,
Bow down our heads in dark despair,
But we should keep those lessons fast,
Which e’en our follies taught us there.

Experience, so dearly bought,
By folly, or by ignorance,
Should, in our inmost system wrought,
Our daily life improve, advance.

Then let us press towards the goal,
The common goal of all mankind,
Go on, while seasons onward roll,
Nor cast one fainting look behind.

And, as we journey through this year,
Let us in watchfulness beware
Of all that brings remorseful tear,
Or future terror and despair.

Let us with thoughtful vision scan
Each step we take, each act we do,
That we may meet our brother man,
With no unrighteous thing to rue.

A happy, happy, bright New Year,
I wish to all the sons of men,
With happy hearts, and merry cheer,
Till it has roll’d its round again.

Thomas Frederick Young

New Year’s Day–And Every Day

Each man is Captain of his Soul,
And each man his own Crew,
But the Pilot knows the Unknown Seas,
And He will bring us through.

We break new seas to-day,–
Our eager keels quest unaccustomed waters,
And, from the vast uncharted waste in front,
The mystic circles leap
To greet our prows with mightiest possibilities;
Bringing us–what?
–Dread shoals and shifting banks?
–And calms and storms?
–And clouds and biting gales?
–And wreck and loss?
–And valiant fighting-times?
And, maybe, Death!–and so, the Larger Life!

For should the Pilot deem it best
To cut the voyage short,
He sees beyond the sky-line, and
He’ll bring us into Port.

And, maybe, Life,–Life on a bounding tide,
And chance of glorious deeds;–
Of help swift-born to drowning mariners;
Of cheer to ships dismasted in the gale;
Of succours given unasked and joyfully;
Of mighty service to all needy souls.

So–Ho for the Pilot’s orders,
Whatever course He makes!
For He sees beyond the sky-line,
And He never makes mistakes.

And, maybe, Golden Days,
Full freighted with delight!
–And wide free seas of unimagined bliss,
–And Treasure Isles, and Kingdoms to be won,
–And Undiscovered Countries, and New Kin.

For each man captains his own Soul,
And chooses his own Crew,
But the Pilot knows the Unknown Seas,
And He will bring us through.

William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

A New Year’s Eve

Christina Rossetti died December 29, 1894

The stars are strong in the deeps of the lustrous night,
Cold and splendid as death if his dawn be bright;
Cold as the cast-off garb that is cold as clay,
Splendid and strong as a spirit intense as light.
A soul more sweet than the morning of new-born May
Has passed with the year that has passed from the world away.
A song more sweet than the morning’s first-born song
Again will hymn not among us a new year’s day.
Not here, not here shall the carol of joy grown strong
Ring rapture now, and uplift us, a spell-struck throng,
From dream to vision of life that the soul may see
By death’s grace only, if death do its trust no wrong.
Scarce yet the days and the starry nights are three
Since here among us a spirit abode as we,
Girt round with life that is fettered in bonds of time,
And clasped with darkness about as is earth with sea.
And now, more high than the vision of souls may climb,
The soul whose song was as music of stars that chime,
Clothed round with life as of dawn and the mounting sun,
Sings, and we know not here of the song sublime.
No word is ours of it now that the songs are done
Whence here we drank of delight as in freedom won,
In deep deliverance given from the bonds we bore.
There is none to sing as she sang upon earth, not one.
We heard awhile: and for us who shall hear no more
The sound as of waves of light on a starry shore
Awhile bade brighten and yearn as a father’s face
The face of death, divine as in days of yore.
The grey gloom quickened and quivered: the sunless place
Thrilled, and the silence deeper than time or space
Seemed now not all everlasting. Hope grew strong,
And love took comfort, given of the sweet song’s grace.
Love that finds not on earth, where it finds but wrong,
Love that bears not the bondage of years in throng
Shone to show for her, higher than the years that mar,
The life she looked and longed for as love must long.
Who knows? We know not. Afar, if the dead be far,
Alive, if the dead be alive as the soul’s works are,
The soul whose breath was among us a heavenward song
Sings, loves, and shines as it shines for us here a star.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

New-Year’s Eve

Good old days–dear old days
When my heart beat high and bold–
When the things of earth seemed full of life,
And the future a haze of gold!
Oh, merry was I that winter night,
And gleeful our little one’s din,
And tender the grace of my darling’s face
As we watched the new year in.
But a voice–a spectre’s, that mocked at love–
Came out of the yonder hall;
“Tick-tock, tick-tock!” ‘t was the solemn clock
That ruefully croaked to all.
Yet what knew we of the griefs to be
In the year we longed to greet?
Love–love was the theme of the sweet, sweet dream
I fancied might never fleet!

But the spectre stood in that yonder gloom,
And these were the words it spake,
“Tick-tock, tick-tock”–and they seemed to mock
A heart about to break.

‘T is new-year’s eve, and again I watch
In the old familiar place,
And I’m thinking again of that old time when
I looked on a dear one’s face.
Never a little one hugs my knee
And I hear no gleeful shout–
I am sitting alone by the old hearthstone,
Watching the old year out.
But I welcome the voice in yonder gloom
That solemnly calls to me:
“Tick-tock, tick-tock!”–for so the clock
Tells of a life to be;
“Tick-tock, tick-tock!”-’tis so the clock
Tells of eternity.

Eugene Field

New Year’s Eve

“I have finished another year,” said God,
“In grey, green, white, and brown;
I have strewn the leaf upon the sod,
Sealed up the worm within the clod,
And let the last sun down.”

“And what’s the good of it?” I said.
“What reasons made you call
From formless void this earth we tread,
When nine-and-ninety can be read
Why nought should be at all?

“Yea, Sire; why shaped you us, ‘who in
This tabernacle groan’ –
If ever a joy be found herein,
Such joy no man had wished to win
If he had never known!”

Then he: “My labours – logicless –
You may explain; not I:
Sense-sealed I have wrought, without a guess
That I evolved a Consciousness
To ask for reasons why.

“Strange that ephemeral creatures who
By my own ordering are,
Should see the shortness of my view,
Use ethic tests I never knew,
Or made provision for!”

He sank to raptness as of yore,
And opening New Year’s Day
Wove it by rote as theretofore,
And went on working evermore
In his unweeting way.


Thomas Hardy

New Year’s Eve.

Once on the year’s last eve in my mind’s might
Sitting in dreams, not sad, nor quite elysian,
Balancing all ‘twixt wonder and derision,
Methought my body and all this world took flight,
And vanished from me, as a dream, outright;
Leaning out thus in sudden strange decision,
I saw as it were in the flashing of a vision,
Far down between the tall towers of the night,
Borne by great winds in awful unison,
The teeming masses of mankind sweep by,
Even as a glittering river with deep sound
And innumerable banners, rolling on
Over the starry border glooms that bound
The last gray space in dim eternity.

And all that strange unearthly multitude
Seemed twisted in vast seething companies,
That evermore with hoarse and terrible cries
And desperate encounter at mad feud
Plunged onward, each in its implacable mood
Borne down over the trampled blazonries
Of other faiths and other phantasies,
Each following furiously, and each pursued;
So sped they on with tumult vast and grim,
But ever me seemed beyond them I could see
White-haloed groups that sought perpetually
The figure of one crowned and sacrificed;
And faint, far forward, floating tall and dim,
The banner of our Lord and Master, Christ.

Archibald Lampman

New Year’s Eve

There are only two things now,
The great black night scooped out
And this fire-glow.

This fire-glow, the core,
And we the two ripe pips
That are held in store.

Listen, the darkness rings
As it circulates round our fire.
Take off your things.

Your shoulders, your bruised throat
Your breasts, your nakedness!
This fiery coat!

As the darkness flickers and dips,
As the firelight falls and leaps
From your feet to your lips!

D. H. Lawrence (David Herbert Richards)

New Year’s Eve

It’s cruel cold on the water-front, silent and dark and drear;
Only the black tide weltering, only the hissing snow;
And I, alone, like a storm-tossed wreck, on this night of the glad New Year,
Shuffling along in the icy wind, ghastly and gaunt and slow.

They’re playing a tune in McGuffy’s saloon, and it’s cheery and bright in there
(God! but I’m weak – since the bitter dawn, and never a bite of food);
I’ll just go over and slip inside – I mustn’t give way to despair –
Perhaps I can bum a little booze if the boys are feeling good.

They’ll jeer at me, and they’ll sneer at me, and they’ll call me a whiskey soak;
(“Have a drink? Well, thankee kindly, sir, I don’t mind if I do.”)
A drivelling, dirty gin-joint fiend, the butt of the bar-room joke;
Sunk and sodden and hopeless – “Another? Well, here’s to you!”

McGuffy is showing a bunch of the boys how Bob Fitzsimmons hit;
The barman is talking of Tammany Hall, and why the ward boss got fired;
I’ll just sneak into a corner, and they’ll let me alone a bit;
The room is reeling round and round … O God, but I’m tired, I’m tired….

* * * * *
Roses she wore on her breast that night. Oh, but their scent was sweet;
Alone we sat on the balcony, and the fan-palms arched above;
The witching strain of a waltz by Strauss came up to our cool retreat,
And I prisoned her little hand in mine, and I whispered my plea of love.

Then sudden the laughter died on her lips, and lowly she bent her head;
And oh, there came in the deep, dark eyes a look that was heaven to see
And the moments went, and I waited there, and never a word was said,
And she plucked from her bosom a rose of red, and shyly gave it to me.

Then the music swelled to a crash of joy, and the lights blazed up like day;
And I held her fast to my throbbing heart, and I kissed her bonny brow;
“She is mine, she is mine for evermore!” the violins seemed to say,
And the bells were ringing the New Year in – O God! I can hear them now.

Don’t you remember that long, last waltz, with its sobbing, sad refrain?
Don’t you remember that last goodbye, and the dear eyes dim with tears?
Don’t you remember that golden dream, with never a hint of pain,
Of lives that would blend like an angel-song in the bliss of the coming year?

Oh, what have I lost! What have I lost! Ethel, forgive, forgive!
The red, red rose is faded now, and it’s fifty years ago.
‘Twere better to die a thousand deaths than live each day as I live!
I have sinned, I have sunk to the lowest depths – but oh, I have suffered so!

Hark! Oh hark! I can hear the bells!… Look! I can see her there,
Fair as a dream … but it fades … And now – I can hear the dreadful hum
Of the crowded court … See! the Judge looks down … NOT GUILTY, my Lord, I swear …
The bells, I can hear the bells again … Ethel, I come, I come!…

* * * * *

“Rouse up, old man, it’s twelve o’clock. You can’t sleep here, you
Say! ain’t you got no sentiment? Lift up your muddled head;
Have a drink to the glad New Year, a drop before you go –
You darned old dirty hobo … My God! Here, boys! He’s DEAD!”

Robert William Service

New Year’s Eve, 1913

O, Cartmel bells ring soft to-night,
And Cartmel bells ring clear,
But I lie far away to-night,
Listening with my dear;

Listening in a frosty land
Where all the bells are still
And the small-windowed bell-towers stand
Dark under heath and hill.

I thought that, with each dying year,
As long as life should last
The bells of Cartmel I should hear
Ring out an aged past:

The plunging, mingling sounds increase
Darkness’s depth and height,
The hollow valley gains more peace
And ancientness to-night:

The loveliness, the fruitfulness,
The power of life lived there
Return, revive, more closely press
Upon that midnight air.

But many deaths have place in men
Before they come to die;
Joys must be used and spent, and then
Abandoned and passed by.

Earth is not ours; no cherished space
Can hold us from life’s flow,
That bears us thither and thence by ways
We knew not we should go.

O, Cartmel bells ring loud, ring clear,
Through midnight deep and hoar,
A year new-born, and I shall hear
The Cartmel bells no more.

Gordon Bottomley

A New Year’s Eve In War Time


Phantasmal fears,
And the flap of the flame,
And the throb of the clock,
And a loosened slate,
And the blind night’s drone,
Which tiredly the spectral pines intone!


And the blood in my ears
Strumming always the same,
And the gable-cock
With its fitful grate,
And myself, alone.


The twelfth hour nears
Hand-hid, as in shame;
I undo the lock,
And listen, and wait
For the Young Unknown.


In the dark there careers –
As if Death astride came
To numb all with his knock –
A horse at mad rate
Over rut and stone.


No figure appears,
No call of my name,
No sound but “Tic-toc”
Without check. Past the gate
It clatters – is gone.


What rider it bears
There is none to proclaim;
And the Old Year has struck,
And, scarce animate,
The New makes moan.


Maybe that “More Tears! –
More Famine and Flame –
More Severance and Shock!”
Is the order from Fate
That the Rider speeds on
To pale Europe; and tiredly the pines intone.


Thomas Hardy

The New-Year’s Gift

Let others look for pearl and gold,
Tissues, or tabbies manifold:
One only lock of that sweet hay
Whereon the blessed Baby lay,
Or one poor swaddling-clout, shall be
The richest New-Year’s gift to me.

Robert Herrick

A New Year’s Gift.

A little lad, – bare wor his feet,
His ‘een wor swell’d an red,
Wor sleepin, one wild New Year’s neet, –
A cold doorstep his bed.
His little curls wor drippin weet,
His clooas wor thin an old,
His face, tho’ pinched, wor smilin sweet, –
His limbs wor numb wi’ cold.

Th’ wind whistled throo th’ deserted street,
An snowflakes whirled abaat, –
It wor a sorry sooart o’ neet,
For poor souls to be aght.
‘Twor varry dark, noa stars or mooin,
Could shine throo sich a storm; –
Unless some succour turns up sooin,
God help that freezin form!

A carriage stops at th’ varry haase, –
A sarvent oppens th’ door;
A lady wi’ a pale sad face,
Steps aght o’th’ cooach to th’ floor.
Her ‘een fell on that huddled form,
Shoo gives a startled cry;
Then has him carried aght o’th’ storm,
To whear its warm an dry.

Shoo tended him wi’ jewelled hands,
An monny a tear shoo shed;
For shoo’d once had a darlin lad
But he, alas! wor dead.
This little waif seemed sent to cheer,
An fill her darlin’s place;
An to her heart shoo prest him near,
An kissed his little face.

John Hartley

A New Year’s Gift For Bec


Returning Janus now prepares,
For Bec, a new supply of cares,
Sent in a bag to Dr. Swift,
Who thus displays the new-year’s gift.
First, this large parcel brings you tidings
Of our good Dean’s eternal chidings;
Of Nelly’s pertness, Robin’s leasings,
And Sheridan’s perpetual teazings.
This box is cramm’d on every side
With Stella’s magisterial pride.
Behold a cage with sparrows fill’d,
First to be fondled, then be kill’d.
Now to this hamper I invite you,
With six imagined cares to fright you.
Here in this bundle Janus sends
Concerns by thousands for your friends.
And here’s a pair of leathern pokes,
To hold your cares for other folks.
Here from this barrel you may broach
A peck of troubles for a coach.
This ball of wax your ears will darken,
Still to be curious, never hearken.
Lest you the town may have less trouble in
Bring all your Quilca’s cares to Dublin,
For which he sends this empty sack;
And so take all upon your back.

Jonathan Swift

The New-Year’s Gift: Or, Circumcision’s Song. Sung To The King In The Presence At Whitehall.

1. Prepare for songs; He’s come, He’s come;
And be it sin here to be dumb,
And not with lutes to fill the room.

2. Cast holy water all about,
And have a care no fire goes out,
But ‘cense the porch and place throughout.

3. The altars all on fire be;
The storax fries; and ye may see
How heart and hand do all agree
To make things sweet. Chor. Yet all less sweet than He.

4. Bring Him along, most pious priest,
And tell us then, whenas thou seest
His gently-gliding, dove-like eyes,
And hear’st His whimpering and His cries;
How can’st thou this Babe circumcise?

5. Ye must not be more pitiful than wise;
For, now unless ye see Him bleed,
Which makes the bapti’m, ’tis decreed
The birth is fruitless. Chor. Then the work God speed.

1. Touch gently, gently touch; and here
Spring tulips up through all the year;
And from His sacred blood, here shed,
May roses grow to crown His own dear head.

Chor. Back, back again; each thing is done
With zeal alike, as ’twas begun;
Now singing, homeward let us carry
The Babe unto His mother Mary;
And when we have the Child commended
To her warm bosom, then our rites are ended.
Composed by M. Henry Lawes.

Robert Herrick

A New Years’ Gift Sent To Sir Simeon Steward

No news of navies burnt at seas;
No noise of late spawn’d tittyries;
No closet plot or open vent,
That frights men with a Parliament:
No new device or late-found trick,
To read by th’ stars the kingdom’s sick;
No gin to catch the State, or wring
The free-born nostril of the King,
We send to you; but here a jolly
Verse crown’d with ivy and with holly;
That tells of winter’s tales and mirth
That milk-maids make about the hearth;
Of Christmas sports, the wassail-bowl,
That toss’d up, after Fox-i’-th’-hole;
Of Blind-man-buff, and of the care
That young men have to shoe the Mare;
Of twelf-tide cakes, of pease and beans,
Wherewith ye make those merry scenes,
Whenas ye chuse your king and queen,
And cry out, ‘Hey for our town green!’
Of ash-heaps, in the which ye use
Husbands and wives by streaks to chuse;
Of crackling laurel, which fore-sounds
A plenteous harvest to your grounds;
Of these, and such like things, for shift,
We send instead of New-year’s gift.
Read then, and when your faces shine
With buxom meat and cap’ring wine,
Remember us in cups full crown’d,
And let our city-health go round,
Quite through the young maids and the men,
To the ninth number, if not ten;
Until the fired chestnuts leap
For joy to see the fruits ye reap,
From the plump chalice and the cup
That tempts till it be tossed up.
Then as ye sit about your embers,
Call not to mind those fled Decembers;
But think on these, that are t’ appear,
As daughters to the instant year;
Sit crown’d with rose-buds, and carouse,
Till LIBER PATER twirls the house
About your ears, and lay upon
The year, your cares, that’s fled and gone:
And let the russet swains the plough
And harrow hang up resting now;
And to the bag-pipe all address,
Till sleep takes place of weariness.
And thus throughout, with Christmas plays,
Frolic the full twelve holy-days.

Robert Herrick

The New Year’s Gift To Phyllis

The circling months begin this day
To run their yearly ring,
And long-breathed time, which ne’er will stay,
Refits his wings and shoots away,
It round again to bring.
Who feels the force of female eyes
And thinks some nymph divine,
Now brings his annual sacrifice,
Some pretty toy or neat device
To offer at her shrine.
But I can pay no offering
To show how I adore,
Since I have but a heart to bring,
A downright foolish, faithful thing,
And that you had before.
Yet we may give, for custom sake,
What will to both be new:
My constancy a gift I’ll make
And in return of it will take
Some levity from you.

Matthew Prior

A New Year’s Message

To Joseph Mazzini

Send the stars light, but send not love to me.

Out of the dawning heavens that hear
Young wings and feet of the new year
Move through their twilight, and shed round
Soft showers of sound,
Soothing the season with sweet rain,
If greeting come to make me fain,
What is it I can send again?

I know not if the year shall send
Tidings to usward as a friend,
And salutation, and such things
Bear on his wings
As the soul turns and thirsts unto
With hungering eyes and lips that sue
For that sweet food which makes all new.

I know not if his light shall be
Darkness, or else light verily:
I know but that it will not part
Heart’s faith from heart,
Truth from the trust in truth, nor hope
From sight of days unscaled that ope
Beyond one poor year’s horoscope.

That faith in love which love’s self gives,
O master of my spirit, lives,
Having in presence unremoved
Thine head beloved,
The shadow of thee, the semitone
Of thy voice heard at heart and known,
The light of thee not set nor flown.

Seas, lands, and hours, can these divide
Love from love’s service, side from side,
Though no sound pass nor breath be heard
Of one good word?
To send back words of trust to thee
Were to send wings to love, when he
With his own strong wings covers me.

Who shall teach singing to the spheres,
Or motion to the flight of years?
Let soul with soul keep hand in hand
And understand,
As in one same abiding-place
We keep one watch for one same face
To rise in some short sacred space.

And all space midway is but nought
To keep true heart from faithful thought,
As under twilight stars we wait
By Time’s shut gate
Till the slow soundless hinges turn,
And through the depth of years that yearn
The face of the Republic burn.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

New Year’s Night

Now you are mine, to-night at last I say it;
You’re a dove I have bought for sacrifice,
And to-night I slay it.

Here in my arms my naked sacrifice!
Death, do you hear, in my arms I am bringing
My offering, bought at great price.

She’s a silvery dove worth more than all I’ve got.
Now I offer her up to the ancient, inexorable God,
Who knows me not.

Look, she’s a wonderful dove, without blemish or spot!
I sacrifice all in her, my last of the world,
Pride, strength, all the lot.

All, all on the altar! And death swooping down
Like a falcon. ‘Tis God has taken the victim;
I have won my renown.

D. H. Lawrence (David Herbert Richards)

New Year’s Night, 1916

The Earth moans in her sleep
Like an old mother
Whose sons have gone to the war,
Who weeps silently in her heart
Till dreams comfort her.

The Earth tosses
As if she would shake off humanity,
A burden too heavy to be borne,
And free of the pest of intolerable men,
Spin with woods and waters
Joyously in the clear heavens
In the beautiful cool rains,
Bearing gladly the dumb animals,
And sleep when the time comes
Glistening in the remains of sunlight
With marmoreal innocency.

Be comforted, old mother,
Whose sons have gone to the war;
And be assured, O Earth,
Of your burden of passionate men,
For without them who would dream the dreams
That encompass you with glory,
Who would gather your youth
And store it in the jar of remembrance,
Who would comfort your old heart
With tales told of the heroes,
Who would cover your face with the cerecloth
All rustling with stars,
And mourn in the ashes of sunlight,
Mourn your marmoreal innocency?

Duncan Campbell Scott

The New Year’s Resolve.

Says Dick, “ther’s a nooation sprung up i’ mi yed,
For th’ furst time i’th’ whole coorse o’ mi life,
An aw’ve takken a fancy aw’st like to be wed,
If aw knew who to get for a wife.

Aw dooant want a woman wi’ beauty, nor brass,
For aw’ve nawther to booast on misel;
What aw want is a warm-hearted, hard-workin lass,
An ther’s lots to be fun, aw’ve heeard tell.

To be single is all weel enuff nah an then,
But it’s awk’ard when th’ weshin day comes;
For aw nivver think sooapsuds agree weel wi’ men;
They turn all mi ten fingers to thumbs.

An aw’m sure it’s a fact, long afoor aw get done,
Aw’m slopt throo mi waist to mi fit;
An th’ floor’s in a pond, as if th’ peggy-tub run,
An mi back warks as if it ‘ud split.

Aw fancied aw’st manage at breead-bakin best;
Soa one day aw bethowt me to try,
But aw gate soa flustered, aw ne’er thowt o’th’ yeast,
Soa aw mud as weel offered to fly.

Aw did mak a dumplin, but a’a! dear a me!
Abaght that lot aw hardly dar think;
Aw ne’er fan th’ mistak till aw missed th’ sooap, yo see,
An saw th’ suet i’th’ sooap-box o’th’ sink.

But a new-year’s just startin, an soa aw declare
Aw’ll be wed if a wife’s to be had;
For mi clooas is soa ragg’d woll aw’m ommost hauf bare,
An thease mullucks, they’re drivin me mad.

Soa, if yo should know, or should chonce to hear tell,
Ov a lass ‘at to wed is inclined,
Talegraft me at once, an aw’ll see her misel,
Afoor shoo can alter her mind.”

John Hartley

Here is the greatest compilation of poems for New Year.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


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