Sunday, January 1, 2017

RENEWAL, a poem

THESE sounds sonorous rolling!
     These vibrant tones and clear!
Listen! The bells are tolling
     The requiem of the year:
The year that dies, as mute it lies
     Mid fallen leaves and sere!

Now by the fading embers
     That on the hearthstone glow,
How sadly one remembers
     The things of long ago:
The wistful things, with flame-bright wings,
     That vanished long ago!

The self-effacing sorrow,
     The generous desire,
The pledges for the morrow,
     Enkindled at this fire!—
Enkindled here, O dying year!
     Where smoulders low thy pyre.

What hope and what ambition,
     What dreams beyond recall!
And look we for fruition,
     To find them ashes all?
Is life the wraith of love—of faith?
     Then let the darkness fall!

The sparks—how fast they dwindle!
     How faint their being glows!
Quickly the fire rekindle—
     Ah, quickly! ere it goes!
Woo living breath from the lips of death!—
     From ashes bring the rose!
              ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·
Kind God! The bells, in gladness!
     The rose of hope hath bloomed!
For, consecrating sadness,
     Life hath its own resumed,
And welcomes here the new-born year—
     A phœnix, unconsumed!

"Renewal" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (December 1903), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

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