Like a cloud on the brow of a mountain
When the sun in his glory doth rise;
Like the spray of the far-falling fountain
That ascendeth so swift toward the skies
Like the infant’s gay laugh–like the blush
On the virgin’s soft cheek–like the flush
Of the floweret that withers anon
Is the year; Yea! the year that is gone
For the cloud it hath vanished away
Dispersed by the power of the sun
And dissolved in the air is the spray
E’re the blue heights of heaven it had won;
And now transient the laugh of the child
And the blush on the virgin’s soft cheek
And the flower is the beauty despoiled
E’re another bright morning can break.
Like such is the year; it has wings
That bore it with swiftness away
And though round it our memory clings
Ah! we cannot ritard it one day!
It is gone O my soul! It is gone
Its months, weeks and days every one.
Now I turn to the fresh coming year.
Shall wild Hope mount her chariot again?
And rush onward with reckless career?
And shall Fancy’s bright pictures so vain
Me deceive as may have done before?
Strange delusions! I fear ye and strive
You to cast from my soul evermore;
To escape earth’s enchantments and live
In the bondage of truth; for the true
Is the pathway, though weary and sad
And so darksome and dreary to view
That leads up to the world of the glad.
O loved Hope that hath recreant been.
Through the year and the years that are past
Let my chariot wheels turn where is seen
The bright gate of glory at last.
January 1, 1841
Thomas Cole’s Poetry