Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell, Old Year

Farewell, Old Year, we walk no more together,
I catch the sweetness of thy latest sigh;
And, crowned with yellow brake and withered heather,
I see thee stand beneath this cloudy sky.

Here, in the dim light of a gray December,
We part in smiles, and yet we met in tears,
Watching thy chilly dawn, I well remember
I thought thee saddest born of all the years.

I knew not then what precious gifts were hidden
Under the mists that veiled thy path from sight;
I knew not then that joy would come unbidden
To make thy closing hours divinely bright.

I only saw the dreary clouds unbroken,
I only heard the plash of icy rain;
And in that winter gloom, I found no token
To tell me that the sun would shine again.

O dear Old Year, I wronged a Father's kindness;
I would not trust Him with my load of care,
I stumbled on in weariness and blindness,
And lo! He blessed me with an answered prayer.

Good-bye, kind Year! We walk no more together,
But here in quiet happiness we part;
And, from thy wreath of faded fern and heather,
I take some sprays and wear them on my heart.

Sarah Doudney (1841-1926)
found in
1882 The Living Age

Saturday, December 25, 2010

'Til the season comes 'round again

Come and gather 'round at the table
in the spirit of family and friends
and we'll all join hands and remember this moment
'til the season comes 'round again

So let us smile for the picture
and we'll hold it as long as we can
may it carry us through should we ever get lonely
'til the season comes 'round again

One night, holy and bright
shining with love from our hearts
by a warm fire let's lift our hands high
and be thankful we're here 'til this time next year

May the new year be blessed with good tidings
'til the next time I see you again
if we must say goodbye let the spirit go with you
'til the season comes 'round again

One night, holy and bright
shining with love from our hearts
by a warm fire let's lift our hands high
and be thankful we're here 'til this time next year

May this New Year be blessed with good tidings
'til the next time I see you again
we'll all join hands and remember this moment
and we'll love and we'll laugh in the time that we have
'til the season comes 'round again

John Barlow Jarvis & Randy Goodrum

Friday, December 24, 2010

1859 Christmas :: Time-Honored Holiday

This time-honored holiday is again at hand, and many stockings, we opine, will be hung to-night with light hearts and tiny hands for presents rich, which the old man with the reindeer and sledge [sic] has for time out of mind had credit for bringing. 

Christmas, the most widely observed, perhaps, of all holidays, is to the children of Christendom an event fraught with peculiar interest and happiness. In the minds of them it is connected with visions of sugar candy, mince pies, and other sweetmeats too tedious to mention; and in large cities, perhaps, with hopes of a visit to the "Christmas Tree" — an institution which we admire. 

Nor are the "children of a larger growth" indifferent to the advent of Christmas day, as the avidity with which they swallow glasses of egg-nogg abundantly bears witness to. Indeed, in the minds of Americans the idea of Christmas and egg-nogg are utterly inseparable, albeit that of egg-nogg and Christmas are not. 

Our greatest poet has not failed to notice this beautiful trait in our nationality, as may be seen from the following verse:

He that on Christmas day
hath no egg-nogg in himself,
Nor is not moved
by a bowl of this sweet beverage,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;

The motions of his spirits
are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted.

Christmas day to us brings many pleasant recollections. . . . from the YAZOO DEMOCRAT [Yazoo City, MS], December 24, 1859, p. 2, c. 2

Song for a Winter's Night

The lamp is burning low upon my table top
The snow is softly falling
The air is still in the silence of my room
I hear your voice softly calling.

If I could only have you near
To breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
On this winter night with you. . . .

The fire is dying now, my lamp is growing dim
The shades of night are lifting
The morning light steals across my windowpane
Where webs of snow are drifting.

February 2010 Snow at My House 

If I could only have you near, to breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
And to once again be with you
On this winter night with you.

Gordon Lightfoot

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Planted on the banks of time

The continuity of life 
is never broken; 
the river flows onward 
and is lost to our sight, 
but under its new horizon 
it carries the same waters 
which it gathered under ours; 
and its unseen valleys 
are made glad by the offerings 
which are borne down to them 
from the Past, flowers, perchance, 
the germs of which its own waves 
had planted on the banks of Time. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Horses' Christmas Tree

Let's give them a rousing Christmas,
The horses, I mean, this year;
Let the big tree in the public square
Be weighted with Yuletide cheer.
Send word to the drivers of Boston
That the date be not forgot;
Bid each bring his beast to the Christmas feast
In the same old well-known spot.

A tree for the work-worn horses,
Tired horses that plod the street;
Who earn their way with no other pay
Than a bed and a bite to eat.

O, give them a royal welcome
To a banquet of warming food;
Let them eat until they have had their fill
Of the things a horse finds good.

A bigger and better Christmas
For the horses of Boston town;
For the big tree there in the public square
Is a star in the city's crown.

The Horses' Christmas Tree
Maude Wood Henry

Originally published
Our Dumb Animals
February 1928

Just an FYI . . . I received a link to this poem via a Google Alert which I keep set up on any variations of my domain name . . . benotforgot . . . 

How will we know it's us without our past?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

P.S. I love you

What is there to write, what is there to say?
Same things happen ev'ry day;
Not a thing to write, not a thing to say,
So I take my pen in hand
and start the same old way. . . .

Dear, I thought I'd drop a line.
The weather's cool. The folks are fine.
I'm in bed each night at nine.
P.S. I love you. . . .

Yesterday we had some rain,
but all in all, I can't complain,
Was it dusty on the train,
P. S. I love you.

I do my best to obey all your wishes.
I put a sign up, think,
now I got to buy us a new set of dishes,
or wash the ones that have piled in the sink.

Nothin' else for me to say,
and so I'll close. Oh, by the way,
everybody's thinkin' of you.
P.S. I love you.

Nothing else to tell you, dear.
Except, each day feels like a year.
Every night I'm dreamin' of you.
P.S. I love you.

P.S. I love you.

Johnny Mercer (1909-1976)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

With Joy

“The soul leaves a body as a school boy jumps through a school door -- suddenly, and with joy. There is no horror in death.” ~ from the movie, A Rumor of Angels