New Year's Day
by William Lloyd Garrison
Brightest, merriest of days!
Welcomed in a thousand lays!
Not a heart but leaps for gladness,
Not a brow that's veiled in sadness,
Not an eye that beams not brighter,
Not a step that is not lighter!
Day of joyful hopes and wishes,
Prodigal of gifts and kisses;
Want, with all his pining brood,
Leaps and sings for gratitude;
Nakedness — a shivering claimant -
Now obtains a seemly raiment;
Sorrow wipes her tears away,
On a happy New-Year's Day;
All the forms of sharp distress,
Charity's fair hand doth bless!
What awaits, O new-born Year!
On thy brief, untried career?
Pass not, till the world is free
From the yoke of Tyranny;
Broken be th' oppressor's rod,
In the dust his throne be trod; —
Till the sea of human blood
Cease to roll its gory flood,
And the thundering tones of War
Echo not from lands afar;
Till the scourge Intemperance,
With its train, is banished hence:
Pass not till, from sea to sea,
Christ shall gain supremacy;
Idols to the bats be given —
In their stead, the Lord of heaven
Be consulted, loved, adored,
By a guilty race restored!