The Midnight Bells Ring Every Year
The midnight hour, solemn and drear –
The bells ring out our good old year.
I listen to the plaintive sound
Vibrating o’er the country ’round.
Alas, my friend has to depart,
My good, old year, it pains my heart!
He was with me ’mid sunny rays,
And clung to me on cloudy days,
A friend in joy, a friend in woe,
Yes, such was he, but he must go!
No more he shall return to me,
With all his charms and gifts so free.
And ah! It grieves me too, the thought
That I’ve not used him, as I ought!
And when I think about this year,
Forever now to disappear,
Now also of the years of yon,
Ring out since long, to be no more,
With childhood’s sport, when dreams I dreamed,
When fancy’s rays upon me beamed,
With dear old home and all its charms,
And smiling eyes and loving arms,
With beckoning hopes of rainbow hue,
With hearts sincere, that stronger grew,
The bells say sadly, “Gone for aye,
Time sweeps your pleasures all away!”
Ah! Cease to ring thou mournful bell,
I do not like thy funeral knell,
Curtain mine eyes, thou blessed sleep,
And let me joy in dreamland reap!
The notes are hushed – the year is dead,
And what he was and gave has fled.
But no – once more I hear it ring.
Now moving with a steadier swing,
Bounding, sweet notes, conveying cheer,
The bells ring in the bright New Year.
New life, new hope, new peace, new cheer.
Farewell the old, welcome the New Year!
Yes, church bells, ring from lofty spire
That heavenward point, with hope to inspire!
The happy song is in your clang,
Which one sweet night God’s angels sang,
“Glory to God and peace on earth
Good will to man,” at Jesus’ birth.
– Rev. S.F. Rederus
This New Year poem was published in the Jan. 1, 1907 issue of “The Saratoga Sun.”