Sketch—new Year's Day, 1790

THIS day, Time winds th' exhausted chain;
To run the twelvemonth's length again:
I see, the old bald-pated fellow,
With ardent eyes, complexion sallow,
Adjust the unimpair'd machine,
To wheel the equal, dull routine.


The absent lover, minor heir,
In vain assail him with their prayer;
Deaf as my friend, he sees them press,
Nor makes the hour one moment less,
Will you (the Major's with the hounds,
The happy tenants share his rounds;
Coila's fair Rachel's care to-day,
And blooming Keith's engaged with Gray)
From housewife cares a minute borrow,
(That grandchild's cap will do to-morrow,)
And join with me a-moralizing;
This day's propitious to be wise in.


First, what did yesternight deliver?
"Another year has gone for ever."
And what is this day's strong suggestion?
"The passing moment's all we rest on!"
Rest on—for what? what do we here?
Or why regard the passing year?
Will Time, amus'd with proverb'd lore,
Add to our date one minute more?
A few days may—a few years must—
Repose us in the silent dust.
Then, is it wise to damp our bliss?
Yes—all such reasonings are amiss!
The voice of Nature loudly cries,
And many a message from the skies,
That something in us never dies:
That on his frail, uncertain state,
Hang matters of eternal weight:
That future life in worlds unknown
Must take its hue from this alone;
Whether as heavenly glory bright,
Or dark as Misery's woeful night.


Since then, my honour'd first of friends,
On this poor being all depends,
Let us th' important now employ,
And live as those who never die.
Tho' you, with days and honours crown'd,
Witness that filial circle round,
(A sight life's sorrows to repulse,
A sight pale Envy to convulse),
Others now claim your chief regard;
Yourself, you wait your bright reward.

by Robert Burns

Comments (8)

That future life in worlds unknown Must take its hue from this alone; Whether as heavenly glory bright, Or dark as Misery's woeful night. and thous a new year is born, with fear and hope
'Let us th'important now employ And live as those who never die'. Generous idea-poem, impeccably rhymed and just long enough. Cynicism's' near-unanswerable retort: remedying times tedium with wholesome acts. No wonder he lives. MM
So beautiful poem on a new year eve which magnificently created by the great poet and every word is so great.
Renewing the year is what we do every-time! Three days only left for this year to come to an end All turn back to the year from January on to December And make a stock what all have been done so far...! This year we had hottest days and heaviest rains finally With a pause for the new year to start after two days Kindling thoughts on celebration with friends on a fete! Happiest and saddest days have we seen in this year Not only enjoying all pleasures but also all pains in life Giving us the notion that combination of both is life ever! It's only old wine in a new bottle that we taste every-year Sans knowing that the content of life is the same but only The dresses we wear are new and there's nothing new ever! Renewing the year with a new beginning we proceed with yet Another year fresh from January to December with all seasons!
how could be poems written so long ago are so beautiful... poets of long ago has very good imaginations... I am impress I wish their soul will come to me and I will write what they want me too
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