Old Year

Tonight Old Year must die,
And join the vagabonding shades of time,
And haunt, and sob, and sigh
Around the tower where soon New Year will chime.

How fast the slim feet move!
The fiddles whine, the warbling oboes toot,
Lips whisper, eyes look love —
And Old Year's dying, dying underfoot!

So mute and spent, so wan —
Poor corse — beneath the laughter flying by;
The revel dances on
And treads you to the dust — condemned to die!

The moonlight floods the grass,
The music's hushed, and all the festal din;
The pale musicians pass,
Each clasping close his green-cased violin.

Old Year! — not breathing now,
Along the polished floor you lie alone;
I bend, and touch your brow —
The dead year, that has slipped away and gone!
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