Only a night from old to new! Only a night, and so much wrought! The Old Year's heart all weary grew, But said: "The New Year rest has brought." The Old Year's hopes its heart laid down, As in a grave; but, trusting, said: "The blossoms of the New Year's crown Bloom from the ashes of the dead." The Old Year's heart was full of greed; With selfishness it longed and ached, And cried: "I have not half I need. My thirst is bitter and unslaked. But to the New Year's generous hand All gifts in plenty shall return; True love it shall understand; By all my failures it shall learn. I have been reckless; it shall be Quiet and calm and pure of life. I was a slave; it shall go free, And find sweet peace where I leave strife." Only a night from old to new! Never a night such changes brought. The Old Year had its work to do; No New Year miracles are wrought. Always a night from old to new! Night and the healing balm of sleep! Each morn is New Year's morn come true, Morn of a festival to keep. All nights are sacred nights to make Confession and resolve and prayer; All days are sacred days to wake New gladness in the sunny air. Only a night from old to new; Only a sleep from night to morn. The new is but the old come true; Each sunrise sees a new year born.
Mysterious shapes, with wands of joy and pain,
Which seize us unaware in helpless sleep,
And lead us to the houses where we keep
Our secrets hid, well barred by every chain
That we can forge and bind: the crime whose stain
Is slowly fading ’neath the tears we weep;
Dead bliss which, dead, can make our pulses leap—
Oh, cruelty! To make these live again!
They say that death is sleep, and heaven’s rest
Ends earth’s short day, as, on the last faint gleam
Of sun, our nights shut down, and we are blest.
Let this, then, be of heaven’s joy the test,
The proof if heaven be, or only seem,
That we forever choose what we will dream!