Silvery-bearded, bent, and gray,
The Old Year passeth swift away,
Yet the ringers he keeps in his belfry tower
Peal no dirge for his waning power.
He is bidding them ring so joyously,
Can the Year of his end forgetful be ?
"Ah, no," he says, "I am old and worn
But the young Christ-life to-day is born;
"I have led the world to its Christmas-tide,
I have opened the door of Heaven wide,
And bells of the ages hung on high
Are chiming out God's charity.
"O welcome, then, the Bethlehem Boy,
Sing at his cradle songs of joy,
Wreathe for his altars holly red,
For the shames of earth at last are dead."
Arthur Wentworth Eaton
from Songs of the Christian Year, 1905
[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]
Arthur Wentworth Eaton biography