334 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
last grain of sand was falling through the hour-glass. He did not speak; he simply walked about the table, shaking hands with each guest. As he stood in the doorway, waving a pantomimic good-bye, the clock began to strike twelve, and the city's bells rang out a clamour of joyous welcome. The Old Year disappeared; in his place stood a tiny, golden-haired child, robed in white and garlanded with flowers. It was the infant New Year. From somewhere in an adjacent room came an outburst of music, and a fine, clear soprano voice, singing:
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty night, The year is dying in the light;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new;
Ring, happy bells, across the snow.
The year is going, let him go. Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Merry greetings followed, toasts to the New Year, more song and music. Then good-byes were said, and the guests turned homeward under a clear, starlit sky in the first hour of a New Year.
A NEW-YEAR RESOLUTION PARTY
For a frolic on New Year's eve, it is well to begin with something lively and active, to get every one in the spirit of fun.
The hostess may inform her guests that, on the eve of a New Year, untried, unknown, it will be of supreme interest to all to learn whether it promise good or ill.
She then draws aside the portiere in the doorway lead-