“January 1, 1828” by Nathaniel Parker Willis

by Ann Neilson

January 1, 1828
Nathaniel Parker Willis

FLEETLY hath passed the year. The seasons came
Duly as they are wont—the gentle Spring,
And the delicious Summer, and the cool,
Rich Autumn, with the nodding of the grain,
And Winter, like an old and hoary man,
Frosty and stiff—and are so chronicled.
We have read gladness in the new green leaf,
And in the first-blown violets; we have drunk
Cool water from the rock, and in the shade
Sunk to the noontide slumber;—we have pluck’d
The mellow fruitage of the bending tree,
And girded to our pleasant wanderings
When the cool wind came freshly from the hills;
And when the tinting of the Autumn leaves
Had faded from its glory, we have sat
By the good fires of Winter, and rejoiced
Over the fulness of the gathered sheaf.
“God hath been very good!” ‘Tis He whose hand
Moulded the sunny hills, and hollow’d out
The shelter of the valleys, and doth keep
The fountains in their secret places cool;
And it is he who leadeth up the sun,
And ordereth the starry influences,
And tempereth the keenness of the frost—
And therefore, in the plenty of the feast,
And in the lifting of the cup, let HIM
Have praises for the well-completed year.