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MIDNIGHT MASS FOR THE DYING YEAR.

Yes, the year is growing old,

And his eye is pale and bleared ! Death, with frosty hand and cold, Plucks the old man by the beard,

Sorely, — sorely!

The leaves are falling, falling,

Solemnly and slow;
Caw! caw! the rooks are calling,
It is a sound of woe,

A sound of woe !

MIDNIGHT MASS FOR THE DYING YEAR. 27

Through woods and mountain-passes

The winds, like anthems, roll ; They are chanting solemn masses, Singing ; Pray for this poor soul,

Pray, — pray!

And the hooded clouds, like friars,

Tell their beads in drops of rain, And patter their doleful prayers ; — But their prayers are all in vain,

All in vain !

There he stands, in the foul weather,

The foolish, fond Old Year, Crowned with wild flowers and with heather, Like weak, despised Lear,

A king, - a king !

Then comes the summer-like day,

Bids the old man rejoice ! His joy! his last! O, the old man gray, Loveth her ever-soft voice,

Gentle and low.

To the crimson woods he saith,

And the voice gentle and low Of the soft air, like a daughter's breath, Pray do not mock me so !

Do not laugh at me!

And now the sweet day is dead;

Cold in his arms it lies,
No stain from its breath is spread
Over the glassy skies,

No mist nor stain !

MIDNIGHT MASS FOR THE DYING YEAR. 29

Then, too, the Old Year dieth,

And the forests utter a moan, Like the voice of one who crieth In the wilderness alone,

Vex not his ghost !

Then comes, with an awsul roar,

Gathering and sounding on, The storm-wind from Labrador, The wind Euroclydon,

The storm-wind !

Howl ! howl! and from the forest

Sweep the red leaves away! Would, the sins that thou abhorrest, O Soul! could thus decay,

And be swept away!

For there shall come a mightier blast,

There shall be a darker day;
And the stars, from heaven down-cast,
Like red leaves be swept away!

Kyrie Eleyson !
Christe Eleyson !

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