Bush, Olivia Ward
|Dreams -- By The -- Driftwood Fire|
|A Dream of the New Year|
Through the waning hours and moments,
Of the slowly dying year,
I sat watching, watching, waiting,
For the New Dawn to appear.
While the Old Year's strife and struggle,
Like a swiftly flowing stream,
Passed before me till I wearied,
Fell asleep--asleep to dream.
That I saw a lofty castle,
Vast in size, and wondrous bright,
And I stood outside its portals,
Waiting for the dawning light.
From its towers the bells were ringing,
In a strange discordant tone,
Wailing out their mournful measures,
Like a mortal's dying moan.
Still I waited, knocked and waited,
Lingered through the shadowed night,
For I longed to learn the secret
Of this castle, vast and bright.
Till a voice within, cried loudly,
"Thou shalt have that wish sublime,
Thou art knocking at Life's castle,
And the Keeper's name is Time."
"And the bells you hear above you,
Ring out all the dying years,
Ring out Man's past griefs and sorrows,
Ring out blasted hopes and fears.
With the coming of the New Year,
They will cease their sad refrain,
You will hear them chiming sweetly,
Ringing out a joyous strain.
Watch and wait awhile with patience,
Wait with hope, and not in fear,
For the New Year swift approaches,
Its bright dawning draweth near."
So I waited, watched and waited
Till the castle's door swung wide,
And the keeper bade me enter,
Saying, "Mortal, here abide."
'Twas indeed a wondrous castle,
With its arches gleaming bright,
E'en the keeper's face was beaming,
With a rare and radiant light,
Through the spacious halls, he led me
Over floors of spotless white,
Till it seemed that mortal vision
Ne'er beheld a fairer sight.
On its walls in blazoned letters,
I could trace each written line,
And the words were wrought most strangely,
Words no mortal could define.
And the keeper softly speaking,
Read them, one by one to me;
"Resolution, Faith and Duty,
Hope and Opportunity."
Then I asked him, "Can you tell me
Why these written words appear?"
He replied, "These are the watchwords
That shall guide thee through the year,
Just resolve to do thy duty,
Thine the opportunity,
Hope shall aid thee, in thy purpose,
Do it well and faithfully."
Then the bells pealed out so loudly,
Ringing out their joyous strain
That I started from my slumbers,
Found myself alone again.
Saw no more Life's wondrous castle,
Vanished now the keeper, Time,
Heard no more the joyful pealing
Of the bell's sweet, tuneful chime.
Day had dawned, the night was over,
Life's old year was safely past,
Now had come a brighter morning,
Life's New Year had dawned at last.
But the dream had filled its mission,
Made my path of duty clear,
Hope and Faith were now the watchwords,
Brightening up my glad New Year.