Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAST OF THE NEW YEAR'S CALLERS, by HENRY CUYLER BUNNER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LAST OF THE NEW YEAR'S CALLERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The door is shut-I think the fine old face
Last Line: In front of the old-time door that's shut.
Subject(s): Holidays; New Year; New York City; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple

The door is shut—I think the fine old face
Trembles a little, round the under lip;
His look is wistful—can it be the place
Where, at his knock, the bolt was quick to slip
(It had a knocker then), when, bravely decked,
He took, of New Year's, with his lowest bow.
His glass of egg-nog, white and nutmeg-flecked,
From her who is—where is the young bride now?

O Greenwood, answer! Through your ample gate
There went a hearse, these many years ago;
And often by a grave—more oft of late—
Stands an old gentleman, with hair like snow.
Two graves he stands by, truly; for the friend
Who won her, long has lain beside his wife;
And their old comrade, waiting for the end,
Remembers what they were to him in life.

And now he stands before the old-time door,
A little gladdened in his lonely heart
To give of love for those that are no more
To those that live to-day a generous part.
Ay, She has gone, sweet, loyal, brave, and gay—
But then, her daughter's grown and wed the while;
And the old custom lingers: New Year's Day,
Will she not greet him with her mother's smile?

But things are changed, ah, things are changed you see;
We keep no New Year's, now, not we—
It's an old-time day,
And an old-time way,
And an old-time fashion we've chosen to cut—
And the dear old man
May wait as he can
In front of the old-time door that's shut.

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