New Year Song

WE climb the hill; the mist conceals
That valley where we could not stay;
Surely this hill's crest, gained, reveals
The glory of the sunlit day.
The hill is climbed. Still shadow-land--
Still darkling looms another hill.
Oh, weary feet!--climb that to find
A new ascent, 'mid shadows still!
We dare not stop or think of rest,
This one hill may be all that lies
Between us and our souls' desire--
The splendour of the eastern skies.


Through long long lives we till and tend,
Sow, weed, and water, all in vain;
Without the flower we looked to find,
Each year springs blooms and dies again.
Bowed down with our unanswered prayers,
Our face averted from our past,
We watch each year grow green, and cry,
'Surely this brings our flower at last!'
Failure on failure! What! tired out?
Too tired to live? Heart, dare you die
When this new year may bud and bear
Your longed-for flower of Liberty?

by Edith Nesbit

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