William Cullen Bryant

(November 3, 1794 – June 12, 1878 / Boston)

A Song for New Year's Eve


Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—
Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
For his familiar sake.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands
Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands,
Because he gives no more?
Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,
While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent!
How sweet the seventh day's rest!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep
Of all they said and did!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past;
Oh be the new as kind!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.

Submitted: Monday, December 05, 2011

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  • Veteran Poet - 2,843 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (12/31/2014 11:53:00 PM)

    Oh stay, oh stay,
    One golden hour, and then away.........

    What a new look to greet the new. Generally our crazy mood somehow hankers for the new one who is knocking the door while poet reminds us the old that gave us more...more....more to make us achieved OR to make us looser. Perfect song of wisdom. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 7,929 Points Kim Barney (12/31/2014 9:39:00 AM)

    Just wondering how they can call this a modern poem when the poet died in 1878...
    And as usual the computers at PH (are there really any people there in Paris?) have chosen the same poem as poem of the day as they did one year ago today. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 10,094 Points * Sunprincess * (12/31/2013 4:57:00 PM)

    This is a wonderful poem and right on time as the year 2013 is coming to an end...nice write. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Tom Mccullough (12/31/2013 1:25:00 AM)

    Thank you for this thoughtful poem, read on 31st December 2013. It was a help not to dwell on some regretted incidents of 2013 and instead to think of the passing of a year as a friend. (Report) Reply

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