Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A FUNERAL CHANT FOR THE OLD YEAR, by E. JUSTINE BAYARD



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A FUNERAL CHANT FOR THE OLD YEAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tis the death-night of the solemn old year!
Last Line: But she is gone!
Alternate Author Name(s): Cutting, E. Justine
Subject(s): Funerals; Burials


'T IS the death-night of the solemn Old Year!
And it calleth from its shroud
With a hollow voice and loud,
But serene:
And it saith -- "What have I given
That hath brought thee nearer heaven?
Dost thou weep, as one forsaken,
For the treasures I have taken?
Standest thou beside my hearse
With a blessing or a curse?
Is it well with thee, or worse
That I have been?"

'T is the death-night of the solemn Old Year!
The midnight shades that fall, --
They will serve it for a pall,
In their gloom; --
And the misty vapours crowding
Are the withered corse enshrouding;
And the black clouds looming off in
The far sky, have plumed the coffin,
But the vaults of human souls,
Where the memory unrolls
All her tear-besprinkled scrolls,
Are its tomb!

'T is the death-night of the solemn Old Year!
The moon hath gone to weep
With a mourning still and deep
For her loss: --
The stars dare not assemble
Through the murky night to tremble --
The naked trees are groaning
With an awful, mystic moaning --
Wings sweep upon the air,
Which a solemn message bear,
And hosts, whose banners wear
A crowned cross!

'T is the death-night of the solemn Old Year!
Who make the funeral train
When the queen hath ceased to reign?
Who are here
With the golden crowns that follow
All invested with a halo?
With a splendour transitory
Shines the midnight from their glory,
And the paean of their song
Rolls the aisles of space along,
But the left hearts are less strong,
For they were dear!

'T is the death-night of the solemn Old Year!
With a dull and heavy tread
Tramping forward with the dead
Who come last?
Ling'ring with their faces groundward,
Though their feet are marching onward,
They are shrieking, -- they are calling
Or the rocks in tones appalling,
But Earth waves them from her view, --
And the God-light dazzles through,
And they shiver, as spars do,
Before the blast!

'T is the death-night of the solemn Old Year!
We are parted from our place
In her motherly embrace,
And are lone!
For the infant and the stranger
It is sorrowful to change her --
She hath cheered the night of mourning
With a promise of the dawning;
She hath shared in our delight
With a gladness true and bright:
Oh! we need her joy to-night --
But she is gone!





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