As I pondered what to write for my final post of 2020, a friend posted this section of Tennyson’s poem “In Memoriam” written over several years after the death of his best friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. I loved poetry and I loved the sentiment the elegy coveys in this section. It seems so appropriate as an elegy for 2020. So, I offer the words of Tennyson to close out this year. Tennyson, who is far more eloquent that I.
In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 106
BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. The year is dying in the night;
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 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 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 in the valiant man and free, The larger heart, the kindlier hand; Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be.
May your New Year be filled with blessings.