Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE NEW YEAR, 1823, by ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD

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TO THE NEW YEAR, 1823, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whether thou bearest a scorpion-sting
Last Line: Whose will is ever wisest, best.
Alternate Author Name(s): Aikin, Anna Letitia

Whether thou bearest a scorpion-sting,
Or, smiling, comest on new-fledg'd wing,
To whisper peace to this sad heart;
On HIM, Omniscient, I depend,
And trembling, hoping, trusting, bend
To His decree, whose gift thou art.

Through many a dread, soul-harrowing scene,
My weary pilgrim feet have been
By thy stern predecessor led;
Yet, e'en 'mid sorrow's cypress bowers,
Some bright, some balm-distilling flowers,
Mercy beneficently spread.

And still, with watchful, pitying eye,
Celestial Mercy, ever nigh,
Will shield my bosom from despair;
And if in thy mysterious breast
More poignant ills, in embryo, rest,
Arm me with fortitude to bear.

Alas! what eyes whose radiance ne'er
Was dimm'd by misery's scalding tear,
Stranger, from thee shall learn to weep;
While hearts to anguish, now a prey,
Ere the sun gilds thy closing day,
Where anguish never dwells shall sleep!

Perhaps, ere thy brief course is run,
My fragile thread of being spun,
These anxious, tearful lids may close;
And she who now addresses thee,
From hopes, from fears, from sorrow free,
May, on earth's peaceful lap, repose.

Oh! may thy moments, stealing by
In silent lapse, quell every sigh,
Lull every rebel thought to rest;
Teach me resign'd, to meet the rod,
Sway'd by that great Eternal God
Whose will is ever wisest, best.

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