The Passing Of The Year Poem by Robert William Service

The Passing Of The Year

Rating: 4.4

My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,
My den is all a cosy glow;
And snug before the fire I sit,
And wait to feel the old year go.
I dedicate to solemn thought
Amid my too-unthinking days,
This sober moment, sadly fraught
With much of blame, with little praise.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time
You stand to bow your last adieu;
A moment, and the prompter's chime
Will ring the curtain down on you.
Your mien is sad, your step is slow;
You falter as a Sage in pain;
Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,
And face your audience again.

That sphinx-like face, remote, austere,
Let us all read, whate'er the cost:
O Maiden! why that bitter tear?
Is it for dear one you have lost?
Is it for fond illusion gone?
For trusted lover proved untrue?
O sweet girl-face, so sad, so wan
What hath the Old Year meant to you?

And you, O neighbour on my right
So sleek, so prosperously clad!
What see you in that aged wight
That makes your smile so gay and glad?
What opportunity unmissed?
What golden gain, what pride of place?
What splendid hope? O Optimist!
What read you in that withered face?

And You, deep shrinking in the gloom,
What find you in that filmy gaze?
What menace of a tragic doom?
What dark, condemning yesterdays?
What urge to crime, what evil done?
What cold, confronting shape of fear?
O haggard, haunted, hidden One
What see you in the dying year?

And so from face to face I flit,
The countless eyes that stare and stare;
Some are with approbation lit,
And some are shadowed with despair.
Some show a smile and some a frown;
Some joy and hope, some pain and woe:
Enough! Oh, ring the curtain down!
Old weary year! it's time to go.

My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that's true,
For we've been comrades, you and I --
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!

Susan Williams 02 January 2016

He is right - we should thank God for every day last year because we still stand here to ring in the new one. Some are even more fortunate. All their loved ones they began the year with are still here to greet the next. That is an awesome blessing to receive,

24 1 Reply
Kim Barney 02 January 2016

Only RWS could have done it this way! After he created Sam McGee And shot Dan McGrew, What else was there left to do?

8 0 Reply
Lantz Pierre 30 December 2016

I've never been a big fan of his but when I look at that way, well, Kim, when you're right you write.

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Jerry Nobles 30 December 2016

...things I wish that I had said. Great comment.

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Spock The Vegan 28 December 2015

Another great poem by Robert William Service.

4 3 Reply
Dr John Bryson 30 December 2016

Great poem. Thanks for this poet.

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Tom Allport 30 December 2016

it's no good thinking of what's gone and could have been instead embrace the new and the unforeseen.

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Edward Kofi Louis 30 December 2016

Sage in pain! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Bernard F. Asuncion 30 December 2016

Farewell to 2016++++++++++ Hello 2017! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Classic poem! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! +++++++++++

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Soulful Heart 02 January 2016

The sage of time......meditating on the past to enlighten the future year.....some harsh some pleasant.......a goodbye to the PST year that has become a part of the in erasable history........

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