I can't compete with Tennyson's
Ring out the old (that rhyming psalm
He wrote for "In Memoriam"),
The best of year-end benisons.
But here I shall enumerate
My wishes, hopes, prayers, and concerns:
I'll tip my hat to Robert Burns;
And yes, I just might stay up late,
Taking a drop to ward off thirst!
And so, before Times Square goes mad,
Here are some of the thoughts I've had
Upon December thirty-first.
I shun the louts, the mouths that shout,
The vandalizing gusts of wind
Thrashing the trees with fury blind --
I'd rather be inside than out.
Give me a friendly gathering:
A cup of kindness, "Auld Lang Syne,"
Some evanescent quarts of wine --
A festive warmth as glad hearts sing.
Or bless me with the joys of home,
Away from rowdies brash and rude:
I need not travel, need not roam.
Give me surroundings safe and sweet:
A bed, some books, a cup of tea --
Grace, peace, and domesticity
As midnight bells ring to complete
Obsequies of the mortal year,
To signal January's birth
As corks pop, souls carouse with mirth,
And pyrotechnics burst and flare.
It would seem fitting now to pray
(With cautious hope and holy fear)
That I be given strength next year
To greet with courage each new day.
May heaven grant to wounded hearts
The healing of their every ill;
May hungry bellies have their fill --
Lord, vouchsafe, as this year departs,
To hear the cry of strife-torn lands,
To lift the poor man from his heap,
To dress the dead in restful sleep,
To hold the frail child in your hands.