ArtMagick Illustrated Poetry Collection
Edwin Percy Habberton Lulham
A New Year's Eve
Year written: 1913
From 'The Other Side of Silence'
As I watched the old year die,
By the fire, half-napping,
From some night-work near I heard,
Still, a tapping — tapping.
And so, stealing out to see,
Just at midnight's ringing,
Found a coffin-maker stand
At his sad work, singing :
"Here I hammer in the hate
My heart gave another;
Here goes in the jealousy
Felt of you, my brother;
"With this screw I fix in fast
Grumblings and complainings,
With this last turn goes the year's
Greedy love of gainings.
"Take, old elm — you love my trade-
Twelve months' sins collected,
Bury them, and nevermore
Be they resurrected."
Many evil things / longed
Never more might find me,
And, ere turning home, I, too,
Left a load behind me.
I well may worldly gear disdain
That gets me man's unearnt esteem;
This body, too, that cowers in pain
And loiters oft in slothful dream ;
My mind so apt for foolish thought,
Where envies and despairings throng ;
My will so weak in working aught
Of good things, and for bad so strong;
Imagination, even, that still
May let me love and truly see
The noble mind, the dauntless will,
Yet cannot make these live in me :
All, even that last, I may despise;
But "I," what means "I"? Wondering,
With awed and inward-peering eyes,
I dare not scorn this unknown thing.
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