New-Year's Eve

A poem by Eugene Field

Good old days--dear old days
When my heart beat high and bold--
When the things of earth seemed full of life,
And the future a haze of gold!
Oh, merry was I that winter night,
And gleeful our little one's din,
And tender the grace of my darling's face
As we watched the new year in.
But a voice--a spectre's, that mocked at love--
Came out of the yonder hall;
"Tick-tock, tick-tock!" 't was the solemn clock
That ruefully croaked to all.
Yet what knew we of the griefs to be
In the year we longed to greet?
Love--love was the theme of the sweet, sweet dream
I fancied might never fleet!

But the spectre stood in that yonder gloom,
And these were the words it spake,
"Tick-tock, tick-tock"--and they seemed to mock
A heart about to break.

'T is new-year's eve, and again I watch
In the old familiar place,
And I'm thinking again of that old time when
I looked on a dear one's face.
Never a little one hugs my knee
And I hear no gleeful shout--
I am sitting alone by the old hearthstone,
Watching the old year out.
But I welcome the voice in yonder gloom
That solemnly calls to me:
"Tick-tock, tick-tock!"--for so the clock
Tells of a life to be;
"Tick-tock, tick-tock!"-'tis so the clock
Tells of eternity.

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