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)
1882 The Living Age