By Oliver Goldsmith

© St. John, N.B.: John McMillan, 1834


FOR 1826.

The following Addresses for the New-Year, were written for “The Novascotian,” A weekly periodical, published at Halifax, and at the time owned by Mr. GEORGE R. YOUNG. [Page 92]


THE days are all gone and the moments are fled,
    That filled up the last fleeting year,
In vain may we sigh but they cannot be led
    To linger again with us here.

With pride, my dear Patrons, I offer my lay,


    By our customs a tribute now due;
A task ever pleasing my duty to pay,
    And the events of the past year review.

Through the wide-spreading world still the banner of peace,
    Is in beauty and splendour unfurled, [Page 93]


Except, o’re the vallies and mountains of Greece,
    Once the glory and pride of the world.

Oh! where is the bosom so cold or so tame
    That feels not her insults and woes;
While the home of her gods, and her temples of fame


    Are trampled by tyrants and foes.

Oh! where is the eye that can shed not a tear
    For her heroes who nobly have bled;
In whose cause has been sacrificed all that was dear,
    And the spirit of Byron has fled.


Yet, ’twas worthy thy fate, oh, thou wonder of earth,
    Thus to fall at so noble a shrine;
’Twas worthy thine honor, thy fame, and thy birth,
    And a genius immortal like thine. [Page 94]

From the gay fields of France and her vine-covered bowers,


    Still the spirit of liberty flies;
And Italy, parent of sunshine and flowers,
    A refuge to freedom denies.

And Spain once the spot of the gallant and brave,
    And chivalry’s splendid array;


Now ruled by a despot, a fool and a slave,
    Wastes in anguish her manhood away.

Still England, fair England, is happy and free
    As the wave which encircles her shore,
The dread of the world, and the Queen of the sea,


    She owns not a wrong to deplore.

While in regions far distant the moments of time,
    Thus brightly or sadly have sped,
With pleasure we turn to our own favoured clime,
    And witness the twelvemonth that’s fled. [Page 95]


O’er the hearths of our childhood, the altars of home,
    Still freedom and happiness reign;
There contentment presides, so unwilling to roam,
    While industry smiles on each plain.

To the breeze of the morn, see the white swelling sail


    Of commerce unshackled expand,
Confined to no spot it may catch every gale,
    And visit each far distant land.

There’s the ship at the “Cove” will be fit very soon,
    To sport of the fathomless tide,


And the “Whaler,” I’m told, will be ready in June,
    One the billows of ocean to ride.

Our well-beloved “Trusty” returns in the spring,
    To her native son’s rocky-bound shore; [Page 96]
And with her silks, coffee and cottons will bring


    From the coasts of Bengal and Mysore.

How pleasant, instead of the soft tallow light,
    That flitters away in our halls;
To see a wax taper transparent and bright,
    Enliven our suppers and balls.


Far better I’m sure, than the puppies that bark,
    And annoy us each day in the street;
To have a fine lion our guard after dark,
    Or a tiger to crouch at our feet.

What fun for us devils to print all the news


    About Rajahs, and all sorts of teas;
The prices of silks, and the death of Hindoos,
    And the feats in the great summer seas.

Nor from this source alone will I fill up my page,
    Other subjects my labour shall share, [Page 97]


The world’s moral map, and the hints of the sage,
    Shall meet with attention and care.

Then, my Patrons, accept for the year that is passed,
    My thanks, and my gratitude too;
My future endeavours, I hope, like the last,


    Will obtain a reception from you.

If pleasure and love, with their sweet bloomy flowers,
    Have circled each innocent heart;
Oh! still may they linger around your dear bowers,
    Nor e’er feel a wish to depart.


And thus, your poor poet will finish his lay,
    Thus express his best wishes while here:
May the morning be happy, and joyous the day,
    That ushers in every New Year! [Page 98]