A Happy New Year by John Rae

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Again we stand on the silver strand
   By the edge of life's feeling tide,
And fill our hand with the shifting sand
   That we find by the ocean side.
The sand will go, and the stream will flow,
   While the leaves grow yellow and sere;
The tongue of the warning bell, we know,
   Tolls the end of the dying year.

Our barque has sailed through the good old year
   With a fair and a gentle gale;
The year grew dear, and now with a tear
   We must bid the old friend farewell.
We lift our hat as we closely stand
   By the side of the passing bier,
Then turn and offer our heart and hand
   To welcome the coming New Year.

May peace abide in Australia's shore,
   And may all her industries thrive;
May all the blessings of old Eighty-four
   Be with us in new Eighty-five.
With kindest love let our hearts expand
   For friends who are loving and dear;
We offer a hand to all in the land,
   And wish them a happy New Year.

It looks but a span since the year began;
   It ends like a tale that is told;
It tells how short are the days of man ---
   For we, like the year, shall grow old.
We hope and pray that when we pass away
   A Friend at the end will appear
To welcome us home to eternal day,
   And wish us a happy New Year.

First published in The Queenslander, 3 January 1885

Author:  John Rae (ca1826-??) was a school teacher in Victoria who started a school in Bendigo before being moved to Port Meblourne State School.  He retired from teaching in 1891.

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 3, 2012 6:57 AM.

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