Letitia Elizabeth Landon


New Year's Eve

by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

There is no change upon the air,
No record in the sky:
No pall-like storm comes forth to shroud
The year about to die.

A few light clouds are on the heaven,
A few far stars are bright;
And the pale moon shines as she shines
On many a common night.

Ah, not in heaven, but upon earth,
Are signs of change exprest;
The closing year has left its mark
On human brow and breast.

How much goes with it to the grave
Of life's most precious things?
Methinks each year dies on a pyre,
Like the Assyrian kings.

Affections, friendships, confidence, --
There's not a year hath died
But all these treasures of the heart
Lie with it side by side.

The wheels of time work heavily;
We marvel day by day
To see how from the chain of life
The gilding wears away.

Sad the mere change of fortune's chance,
And sad the friend unkind;
But what has sadness like the change
That in ourselves we find?

I've wept my castle in the dust,
Wept o'er an altered brow;
'Tis far worse murmuring o'er those tears,
Would I could weep them now!

O, for mine early confidence,
Which like that graceful tree
Bent cordial, as if each approach
Could but in kindness be!

Then was the time the fairy Hope
My future fortune told,
Or Youth, the alchymist, that turned
Whate'er he touched to gold.

But Hope's sweet words can never be
What they have been of yore:
I am grown wiser, and believe
In fairy tales no more.

And Youth has spent his wealth, and bought
The knowledge he would fain
Change for forgetfulness, and live
His dreaming life again.

I'm weary, weary: day-dreams, years,
I've seen alike depart,
And sullen Care and Discontent
Hang brooding o'er my heart.

Another year, another year, --
Alas! and must it be
That Time's most dark and weary wheel
Must turn again for me?

In vain I seek from out the past
Some cherished wreck to save;
Affection, feeling, hope, are dead, --
My heart is its own grave!


The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon
Copyright 1853
Phillips, Sampson, And Co.
110 Washington Street