Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

The wonders of technology --
We, Crispin (my brother) and I, as well as my SIL and nephew, just finished reading Ring Out, Wild Bells, as we have done at midnight this day almost every year of my life. This year we did it at midnight Oslo time, as that's where they are. Not on a horrendously expensive phone call. Skype, full video, free. Tom showed off with Christmas carols on the clarinet, which he just started learning.
I showed some pictures of the chickens and CoServ cutting the dead tree at the Ridge. And we read our poem, which seems just as topical and relevant, if not more so, than when I first remember it, fifty-something years ago.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring in the valiant one and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the of the land,
Ring in the light that is to be.

Happy New Year, from Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850, and me.

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