The Death of All the Year

The death of all the year has come.
O, dowager, now glide
into your bed; your ken is past.
Now rest, in eventide.

Ah, friends, behold her final peace!
How placid is that rest.
She now has run her wanted course;
calm reigns within her breast.

Remember how her days began,
a babe brought forth in snow?
She, drawing that first breath,
in winter’s fresh white flow?

This life, begun with icy gasp
inhaled in deepest gloom,
waxed high ‘mongst verdant buds in flow’r,
nostalgic, for the bloom.

This maiden, then, rolled up her wool,
exchanged for linen, mild,
and danced among the roses, free,
a willing, life-crowned child.

Oh, I recall her highest hour,
in hectares flush with wheat:
she wed, ‘neath haze of humid sun;
that harvest-yield was sweet.

And when the Autumn leave had left,
her youthful beauty shorn,
she took her seat ‘midst all the spans
of years long past, thus borne.

Now, friends, that sums her course entire:
from dawn to this last night,
her waxen form remains: an age
for chroniclers to cite.

O maiden, mother, matron, all;
in these good words you dwell
secure. Much in the cold did wait,
that was, this year, done well.

But where-unto shall we go now,
for warmth of cheering ale,
‘gainst struggles in the cold and damp,
as orphans, in the hail?

Yet wait! my brothers… hear that sound!
Yes, hark to that small cry!
A little one is born to us!
Let’s to its side now fly!

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