BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

The Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling,
And Festivities Of The Christmas Season.

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NEW-YEAR'S EVE.                                         201
sometimes, the very saddest thing in the world ;—that the jingle of the cap and bells is, too often, but a vain device, like that of the ancient Corybantes, to drown the " still small" sounds whose wailing is yet heard over all.
And on the night before us, of all nights in the year, the smile and the laugh go freely round—but, ever and anon, there is, as it were, the echo of a far sigh. A birth, in which we have a mighty interest, is about to take place,—but every now and then comes to the heart the impression of low whispering and soft treading, in the back-ground—as of those who wait about a death-bed. We are in a state of divided feelings, somewhat resembling his whose joy, at the falling of a rich inheritance, is dashed by ten­der recollections of the friend by whose departure it came. Let Mr. Tennyson explain for us, why this so :—
Full knee-deep lies the winter snow, And the winter winds are wearily sighing : Toll ye the church-bell sad and slow, And tread softly and speak low, For the old year lies a-dying.
Old year, you must not die.
You came to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old year, you shall not die.
He lieth still: he doth not move :
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He gave me a friend, and a true true-love,
And the New-year will take 'em away.
Old year, you must not go.
So long as you have been with us,
Such joy as you have seen with us,
Old year, you shall not go!
He frothed his bumpers to the brim; A jollier year we shall not see. But tho' his eyes are waxing dim, And tho' his foes speak ill of him, He was a friend to me!
Old year, you shall not die.
We did so laugh and cry with you,
I've "half a mind to die with you,
Old year, if you must die.
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