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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   Upon December’s windy portico
   The Old Year stood, and looked out where the sun
   Went wading down the West, through drifting clouds.
   ‘I, too, shall sink full soon to rest,’ he sighed,
   ‘And follow where my children’s feet have trod;
   Brave January, beauteous May and June,
   My lovely daughters, and my valiant sons,
   All, all save one, have left me for that bourne
   Men call the Past. It seems but yesterday
   I saw fair August, laughing with the Sea,
   Snaring the Earth with her seductive wiles,
   And making conquest, even of the Sun.
   Yet has she gone, and left me here to mourn.’
   Then spake December, from an open door:
   ‘Father, the night grows cold; come in and rest.
   Sit with me here beside this glowing grate;
   I have not left thee; thou art not alone;
   My house is thine; all warm with love and light,
   And bright with holly and with cedar sweet.
   My stalwart arm is thine to lean upon;
   The feast is spread, I only wait for thee;
   God smiles upon thy dead, smile thou on me.’
   Then through the open door the Old Year passed
   And darkness settled on the outer world.


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