James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Song Of The New Year - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

I heard the bells at midnight
Ring in the dawning year;
And above the clanging chorus
Of the song, I seemed to hear
A choir of mystic voices
Flinging echoes, ringing clear,
From a band of angels winging
Through the haunted atmosphere:
'Ring out the shame and sorrow,
And the misery and sin,
That the dawning of the morrow
May in peace be ushered in.'

And I thought of all the trials
The departed years had cost,
And the blooming hopes and pleasures
That are withered now and lost;
And with joy I drank the music
Stealing o'er the feeling there
As the spirit song came pealing
On the silence everywhere:
'Ring out the shame and sorrow,
And the misery and sin,
That the dawning of the morrow
May in peace be ushered in.'

And I listened as a lover
To an utterance that flows
In syllables like dewdrops
From the red lips of a rose,
Till the anthem, fainter growing,
Climbing higher, chiming on
Up the rounds of happy rhyming,
Slowly vanished in the dawn:
'Ring out the shame and sorrow,
And the misery and sin,
That the dawning of the morrow
May in peace be ushered in.'

Then I raised my eyes to Heaven,
And with trembling lips I pled
For a blessing for the living
And a pardon for the dead;
And like a ghost of music
Slowly whispered--lowly sung--
Came the echo pure and holy
In the happy angel tongue:
'Ring out the shame and sorrow,
And the misery and sin,
And the dawn of every morrow
Will in peace be ushered in.'


Comments about Song Of The New Year by James Whitcomb Riley

  • Gold Star - 13,735 Points Rajnish Manga (1/2/2015 12:35:00 AM)

    The poem represents the sentiments of a noble as well as a common man while welcoming a new year. Word by word the poem forms a beautiful string of pearls. I would love to recall the following:
    Ring out the shame and sorrow / And the misery and sin, ...
    And I listened as a love / To an utterance that flows / In syllables like dewdrops / From the red lips of a rose, (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 6,928 Points Savita Tyagi (1/1/2015 12:40:00 PM)

    Great poem. Let the peace and joy ushered in. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (1/1/2015 1:57:00 AM)

    I heard the bells at midnight Ring in the dawning year; and lo new sun born with hope (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Paul Anthony (1/1/2013 8:23:00 PM)

    A great poem from an underrated poet. The rhyme and resonance is spot on. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 35,597 Points Gajanan Mishra (1/1/2013 4:44:00 AM)

    Peace be ushered in. good. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

Poem Edited: Saturday, December 3, 2011


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