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It is no more than what, in sober sadness, every one of us seems to be conscious of, in that awful leave-taking. I am sure I felt it, and all felt it with me, last night; though some of my companions affected rather to manifest an exhilaration at the birth of the coming year, than any very tender regrets for the decease of its predecessor. But I am none of those who
“Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.” I am naturally, beforehand, shy of novelties; new books, new faces, new years,—from some mental twist which makes it diffi. cult in me to face the prospective. I have almost ceased to hope; and am sanguine only in the prospects of other (former) years. I plunge into foregone visions and conclusions. I encounter pell-mell with past disappointments. I am armor-proof against old discouragements. I forgive, or overcome in fancy, old adversaries. I play over again for love, as the gamester's phrase it, games for which I once paid so dear. I would scarce now have any of those untoward accidents and events of my life reversed. I would no more alter them than the incidents of some well contrived novel.
3. The elders, with whom I was brought up, were of a character not likely to let slip the sacred observance of any old institution; and the ringing out of the Old Year was kept by them with circumstances of peculiar ceremony. In those days the sound of those midnight chimes, though it seemed to raise hilarity in all around me, never failed to bring a train of pensive imagery into my fancy. Yet I then scarce conceived what it meant, or thought of it as a reckoning that concerned me.
4. Not childhood alone, but the young man till thirty, never feels practically that he is mortal. He knows it, indeed, and, if need were, he could preach a homily on the fragility of life; but he brings it not home to himself, any more than, in a hot June, we can appropriate to our imagination the freezing days of December. But now, shall I confess a truth? I feel these audits but too powerfully. I begin to count the probabilities of my duration, and to grudge at the expenditure of moments and shortest periods, like miser's farthings. In proportion as the
years both lessen and shorten, I set more count upon their periods, and would fain lay my ineffectual finger upon the spoke of the great wheel.
ALFRED Tennyson, author of the following spirited verses, was born about the year 1810. He has written some things 80 true to nature, so simple, so touchingly pathetic,-as “ The May Queen,” for example,
-as to entitle him to the praise of a true poetic inspiration. His father was a clergyman in Lincolnshire, England.
RING OUT THE OLD YEAR.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
The faithless coldness of the times :
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring out the narrowiug lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
ROBERT PILLOK was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland, in the year 1799. He died near Southampton, in 1827, just after his entrance upon duty, as a minister in the Presbyterian Church. He was the author of several works both in prose and verse. That, however, which gave him his chief distinction, is his “ Course of Time:" a work abounding in fine passages and noble sentiments, but clouded to excess with gloomy reflection, often deficient in care and polish, and oftener still inflated in style and diction. Had he lived, however, time might have cured these defects, and brought out to the highest advan. tage, what doubtless he had, a rare combination of natural endowments
PASSAGES FROM POLLOR
Much beautiful, and excellent, and fair
In darkest day. And many sounds were sweet,
Of all God made upright, And in their nostrils breathed a living soul, Most fallen, most prone, most earthy, most debased. Of all that sold Eternity for Time, None bargained on so easy terms with death. Illustrious fool! nay, most inhuman wretch ! He sat among his bags, and with a look Which hell might be ashamed of, drove the poor Away unalmsed; and midst abundance diedSorest of evils ! died of utter want.
Of all the phantoms fleeting in the mist
FATE OF BYRON.
Great man! the nations gazed, and wondered much,
THE WANT ABOVE ALL OTHER WANTS.
There was another, large of understanding,
Leaving the earth at will, he soared to heaven,