Arthur Guiterman

1871-1943 / United States

New Year, 1918

As Father Time came speeding where I stood,
I boldly grasped him by the scanty forelock
Exactly as the proverb says you should,
And thus apostrophized the ancient warlock:

'Disclose to me, my over hasty friend,
Diminishing your zeal for whizzing past one,
The sort of New Year that you mean to send;
We didn't altogether like the last one.'

He stared at me with eyes of glacial blue:
'A New Year!' laughed the hoary planet rover.
'We don't send New Years to the likes of you;
The best you get are Old Years, furbished over!

'The Year that last you hailed, with crazy din,
The new-born hope of what you term your own age,
Was dragged from dark Oblivion's dusty bin-
A slightly altered relic of the Stone Age!'

'Then, Time,' I cried, 'let now the Fates remold
A gladder New Year! Let their hands refashion
A healing twelve month from the AGe of Gold,
For Earth is sick of hatred, woe, and passion!'

Wan Chronos looked half tenderly, and then-
I woke. Above the hills the sun was climbing;
And strong men rose and strove to bring again
The Age of Gold- and I sat down to rhyming.
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