Alfred Austin (30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)
Good-bye, old year, good-bye!
Gentle you were to many as to me,
And so we, meditating, sigh,
Since what hath been will be,
That you must die.
Hark! In the crumbling grey church tower,
Tolls the recording bell
The deeply-sounding solemnising knell
For your last hour.
How quietly you die!
No canonisëd Saint
E'er put life by
With less of struggle or complaint.
You seem to feel nor grief nor pain,
No retrospection vain,
As if, departing, you would have us know
It is not hard to go,
Since pang is none, but only peace, in Death,
And Life it is that suffereth.
Closer and clearer comes the last slow knell,
And on my lip for you awaits
That final formula of Fate's,
The low, lamenting, lingering word, Farewell!
For you the curved-backed sexton need not stir
The mould, for there is nothing to inter,
No worn integument to doff,
No bodily corruption to put off;
Begotten of the earth and sun,
And ending spirit-wise as you begun,
You pass, a mere memento of the mind,
Leaving no lees behind.
Hark! What is that we hear?
A quick-jerked, jocund peal,
Making the fretted church tower reel,
Telling the wakeful of a young New Year,
Young, but of lusty birth,
To face the masked vicissitudes of earth.
Let us, then, look not back,
Though smooth and partial was the track
Of the receding Past,
But through the vista vast
Of unknown Future wend intrepid way,
Framed to contend and cope
With perils new by vanished yesterday,
Whose last bequests to Man are Love, and
Faith, and Hope.
Comments about this poem (A Farewell by Alfred Austin )
The best paperback
books of 2013
Heart of Darkness and Other Great Works by Joseph Conrad
See the Original Magazine Publication
Samuel R. Delany Has Been Named Grand Master
For 2013 By The Science Fiction And Fantasy Writers Of America
The Best Poetry Books
Top 500 Poems
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe