The Old and New

Cold is the breath of dying year,
Dark are the days, the nights are drear,
Sunless the sombre atmosphere,
The snow is falling,
Shadows of shivering creatures steer
Thro’ vapours galling.
Soft steals the year we hail as new
From ermine mantle into view,
Noiseless its footfall as the dew
Falls round our dwelling.
Give to its advent greetings true,
Mistrust dispelling.
Bury the old without a tear,
Welcome the new without a fear,
Heart true and tranquil, conscience clear,
And faith unfailing,
Meet with a hope serene, sincere
Its bright unvailing.
Withered this world is, old and weak,
Lifeless and loveless, bare and bleak;
Let us in tender mercy seek
The myriads sunken
Deep in debauch, of which they reek
Dazed, drowsed, and drunken.
Now in the Gospel vespertine,
Clear thro’ the clouds that intervene,
Is by our faith’s clear vision seen
The Star of Morning,
Turning our hearts from things terrene
And godless scorning.
Upward to stainless spheres of light,
Upward to regions fair and bright
Vailed from the carnal creature’s sight,
But yet apparent
By the eternal Spirit’s might,
Their sole Declarant.
Bury this world with the passing year,
Bury it deep without a tear,
Its vice, its verve, its thin veneer
Of virtue hollow,
Into its grave let casket, bier,
And trappings follow.
Strong in the Saviour’s heavenly grace,
Strong in the Father’s warm embrace,
Fly from this world’s deceitful face,
Its baleful cup shun.
Join in the spiritual race
For incorruption.