A New Year Meditation

O'er the valley and the forest droops the twilight gray and still.

While the last beams of the sunset linger on the distant hill,

Lighting up its scarred gray forehead with a glory great and grand.

Borne along a shining pathway, crimson clouds on either hand.

Breezes all are hushed to silence, fading with the dying day ;

Rosy lights will pale and falter, golden clouds will turn to gray,

Countless stars will bud and blossom in the blue eternal deep.

Like the flowers of the angels, and the falling dews will weep.

Then, for fond regrets are futile, and we may not bid him stay,

Gently as the creeping mists go, will the old year steal away,

Gently as the falling dew comes will the new year come upon

Earth so old yet ever youthful, though the gathering years roll on.

in the silence of the midnight, when the world is very still,

While the Southern Cross is hanging just above the darkened hill.

With a glad surprise to offer to the coming of the dawn,

Fair of face and full of graces is the infant "New Year" born

Memories of the year that's over linger round us while we wait

On the threshold of another, peering o'er the book of fate.

Feelings both of joy and sorrow will those memories ever

And are woven with the fabric wrought out from the lives we live.

Could we read the unknown future hidden in the years to be,

Could we learn what things are written, things that make our destiny -

We would never have the courage to endure and to pursue,

Hearts would faint and feet would falter, shrinking from the path in view.

Years-some thousands-dawned unfaded ere we knew the earth we love,

Thousands more may wane and falter when we here no longer move.

What await- our care and trouble for the life that droops and dies ?

Seize the present, live well in it, for the future ever dies.

Golden dreams will lure us onward, blissful visions ever call

From the present lot and duty ; look well, heed well, do not (all.

Has not thus the future ever been with happy promise rife ?

What is now was as pregnant, cherish it, for this is life.

Let us face the future bravely, knowing nought of craven fear,

We can mould our daily actions throughout all the coming year.

Tho' we cannot choose our portion, or the lot that we would fill,

We can rise superior to it, choosing good, abhorring ill.

Kindly words and loving actions will do much one way to strew

With the wealth of others' blessings, sweet as roses steeped in dew,

They will never be regretted, though an effort they may cost,

And the sunshine is far better than the chilling breath of frost.

There are drooping spirits near us, that for loving actions call.

Wearied and almost disheartened. fainting, ready but to fall.

'Twill be well if at the closing of the year that dawns so fair

We can view some burden lessened by our tender, thoughtful care.

Happiness comes but by labour, sloth is harmful to the soul,

What is good is worth attaining, aim then at a lofty goal ;

Give each year a noble record, bravely face whate'er may come,

Till the great New Year shall greet thee-- rest and peace in home, sweet home.

1905 'A New Year Meditation.', The Dawn (Sydney, NSW : 1888 - 1905) , 1 January, p. 29, viewed 31 December, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article76965564