Goodbye and Farewell, 2008

A Song for New Year’s Eve

 by William Cullen Bryant

 

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay-
     Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
     Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
     Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
     For his familiar sake.
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands 
     Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands, 
     Because he gives no more? 
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went, 
     While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent! 
     How sweet the seventh day’s rest! 
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep 
     Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep 
     Of all they said and did! 
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last, 
     And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past; 
     Oh be the new as kind! 
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.

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