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.
O patient creature with a peasant face,
Burnt by the summer sun, begrimed with stains,
And standing humbly in the dingy lanes!
There seems a mystery in thy work and place,
Which crowns thee with significance and grace;
Whose is the milk that fills thy faithful veins?
What royal nursling comes at night and drains
Unscorned the food of the plebeian race?
By day I mark no living thing which rests
On thee, save butterflies of gold and brown,
Who turn from flowers that are more fair, more sweet,
And, crowding eagerly, sink fluttering down,
And hang, like jewels flashing in the heat,
Upon thy splendid rounded purple breasts.