Recreations for Solitary Hours
Stanzas — Extemporaneously Written During the Egress of 1832, — and the Engress of 1833
Extemporaneously Written During the Egress of 1832,
and the Engress of 1833.
See! how in uniform th' approaching year
Advances boldly; nought its course prevents:
With its long line of infantry, while Fear
Forbodes sad changes, Hope its blest events.
See! like a courser with a flowing mane,
Which on the breezes floats, it comes apace:
While Time is urgent as with slacken'd rein,
He pushes forward as to gain a race.
We hail thee with triumphal shouts of joy,
Though expectation trembles in alarms;
While emulously all with either vie
Who first will do obeisance to thy charms.
The old one, which we once with honours crown'd,
Now passing, looks behind to bid adieu;
While novelty of changes fond doth bound,
And spurns the old, in haste t'enjoy the new.
A few short minutes more, and then is past
The lingering year, as it had never been
With all its joys and cares,—it hastens fast
T' escape, and launch us to another scene.
Ah! now 't has fled; no more to be recall'd,
'Tis mingling with the years beyond the flood,
To be forgot;—so thence have thousands roll'd,
With loads of crime much crimson'd o'er with blood!
We vainly hope revivals will ensue,
And happiness, with each approaching year;
Wild fancy holds the picture up to view,
Full drawn, though no realities appear.
How fair's the aspect which receives our joy,
Aye me! who knows what follows in the train;
'Tis mystery all, concealed from human pry,
Which time alone is able to explain.
How blind is man! futurity to know,
Though all with fondness hail the risen year;
For who can tell how fortune's tide may flow,
Or what perplexing cares may rise severe.
Where are some now who once saluted fond
Last year's approach? alas! they're in the tomb:
Oh, Armstrong; chiefly thou, who could respond
To friendship's pleasures, now hast met thy doom.
From childhood, nought could break that genial tie,
By which our hearts in fellowship were join'd;
But death has made a breach, which makes me sigh,
As still thy memory's cherish'd in my mind.