Eugene Field

New-Year's Eve

Good old days—dear old days
  When my heart beat high and bold—
When the things of earth seemed full of life,
  And the future a haze of gold!
Oh, merry was I that winter night,
  And gleeful our little one's din,
And tender the grace of my darling's face
  As we watched the new year in.
But a voice—a spectre's, that mocked at love—
   Came out of the yonder hall;
"Tick-tock, tick-tock!" 't was the solemn clock
  That ruefully croaked to all.
Yet what knew we of the griefs to be
  In the year we longed to greet?
Love—love was the theme of the sweet, sweet dream
  I fancied might never fleet!

But the spectre stood in that yonder gloom,
  And these were the words it spake,
"Tick-tock, tick-tock"—and they seemed to mock
  A heart about to break.

'T is new-year's eve, and again I watch
  In the old familiar place,
And I'm thinking again of that old time when
  I looked on a dear one's face.
Never a little one hugs my knee
  And I hear no gleeful shout—
I am sitting alone by the old hearthstone,
  Watching the old year out.
But I welcome the voice in yonder gloom
  That solemnly calls to me:
"Tick-tock, tick-tock!"—for so the clock
  Tells of a life to be;
"Tick-tock, tick-tock!"-'tis so the clock
  Tells of eternity.

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