(13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864 / Northamptonshire / England)

The Old Year

The Old Year's gone away
To nothingness and night:
We cannot find him all the day
Nor hear him in the night:
He left no footstep, mark or place
In either shade or sun:
The last year he'd a neighbour's face,
In this he's known by none.

All nothing everywhere:
Mists we on mornings see
Have more of substance when they're here
And more of form than he.
He was a friend by every fire,
In every cot and hall -
A guest to every heart's desire,
And now he's nought at all.

Old papers thrown away,
Old garments cast aside,
The talk of yesterday,
All things identified;
But times once torn away
No voices can recall:
The eve of New Year's Day
Left the Old Year lost to all.

by John Clare

Comments (7)

Wouldn't it be nice if this were really true? As soon as the new year begins, all of our mistakes from the previous year would be erased and we could just start over? An encouraging poem nevertheless.
The eve of New Years Day Left the Old Year lost to all. Very decent poem with precious message that a past is always lost. Enjoyed the poem. Thanks for sharing.
This is a great poem. The old year is indeed lost but is memory is fresh
Nice work with the muse of the year gone by.
In my personal experience the events of one year linger on into the next and the next, sometimes it is the tragic events, sometimes even seemingly trivial events can reverberate down the years of a person's life
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