The New Year

Emma Lazarus

 
Rosh-Hashanah, 5643
Not while the snow-shroud round dead earth is rolled,
      And naked branches point to frozen skies.—
When orchards burn their lamps of fiery gold,
      The grape glows like a jewel, and the corn
A sea of beauty and abundance lies,
                      Then the new year is born.
Look where the mother of the months uplifts
      In the green clearness of the unsunned West,
Her ivory horn of plenty, dropping gifts,
      Cool, harvest-feeding dews, fine-winnowed light;
Tired labor with fruition, joy and rest
                      Profusely to requite.
Blow, Israel, the sacred cornet! Call
      Back to thy courts whatever faint heart throb
With thine ancestral blood, thy need craves all.
      The red, dark year is dead, the year just born
Leads on from anguish wrought by priest and mob,
                      To what undreamed-of morn?
For never yet, since on the holy height,
      The Temple’s marble walls of white and green
Carved like the sea-waves, fell, and the world’s light
      Went out in darkness,—never was the year
Greater with portent and with promise seen,
                      Than this eve now and here.
Even as the Prophet promised, so your tent
      Hath been enlarged unto earth’s farthest rim.
To snow-capped Sierras from vast steppes ye went,
      Through fire and blood and tempest-tossing wave,
For freedom to proclaim and worship Him,
                      Mighty to slay and save.
High above flood and fire ye held the scroll,
      Out of the depths ye published still the Word.
No bodily pang had power to swerve your soul:
      Ye, in a cynic age of crumbling faiths,
Lived to bear witness to the living Lord,
                      Or died a thousand deaths.
In two divided streams the exiles part,
      One rolling homeward to its ancient source,
One rushing sunward with fresh will, new heart.
      By each the truth is spread, the law unfurled,
Each separate soul contains the nation’s force,
                      And both embrace the world.
Kindle the silver candle’s seven rays,
      Offer the first fruits of the clustered bowers,
The garnered spoil of bees. With prayer and praise
      Rejoice that once more tried, once more we prove
How strength of supreme suffering still is ours
                      For Truth and Law and Love.
 

Poems by This Author

1492 by Emma Lazarus
Thou two-faced year, Mother of Change and Fate
Age and Death by Emma Lazarus
Come closer, kind, white, long-familiar friend
By the Waters of Babylon by Emma Lazarus
The Spanish noon is a blaze of azure fire
By the Waters of Babylon [V. Currents] by Emma Lazarus
Vast oceanic movements, the flux and reflux of immeasurable tides, oversweep our continent
Chopin by Emma Lazarus
A dream of interlinking hands, of feet
Critic and Poet by Emma Lazarus
No man had ever heard a nightingale
Echoes by Emma Lazarus
Late-born and woman-souled I dare not hope
In Exile by Emma Lazarus
In the Jewish Synagogue at Newport by Emma Lazarus
Here, where the noises of the busy town
Long Island Sound by Emma Lazarus
I see it as it looked one afternoon
The Feast of Lights by Emma Lazarus
Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
The South by Emma Lazarus
Night, and beneath star-blazoned summer skies
To R.W.E. by Emma Lazarus
As when a father dies, his children draw
Venus of the Louvre by Emma Lazarus
Down the long hall she glistens like a star


Further Reading

Poems About New Year's
In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
A Good Year Down
by Jeni Olin
A New Law
by Greg Delanty
A Song for New Year's Eve
by William Cullen Bryant
At the Entering of the New Year
by Thomas Hardy
Fragments for the End of the Year
by Jennifer K. Sweeney
Heavy Snowfall in A Year Gone Past
by Laura Jensen
In Tenebris
by Ford Madox Ford
Letter to GC
by Dana Levin
Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays
by Charles Reznikoff
New Year's Morning
by Helen Hunt Jackson
New years' morning
by Carl Adamshick
Te Deum
by Charles Reznikoff
The Call of the Open
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy
The Garden Year
by Sara Coleridge
The Old Year
by John Clare
The Passing of the Year
by Robert W. Service
The Year
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The Year's Awakening
by Thomas Hardy
Written in the Beginning of the Year 1746
by William Collins