'The Passing of the Year' by Robert William Service is a poem on the old year and the transition phase.

The Passing Of The Year

Another brilliant piece of writing penned down by Robert W. Service, the 'The Passing of the Year' is a perfect poem to be recited on New Year's Eve. The poem is the reflection of the thoughts of both an optimist and a pessimist over the transition of the year from old to new. The poem brings forth the view points of both the optimist and the pessimist on the passing of the old year and the approach of the New Year. The poem quite smartly puts across the importance and meaning of the arrival of the New Year. Through this poem the poet tries to put across the individuality of human beings, and how the New Year has different meanings for each individual. Surf through the poem below to get a better understanding on the perspective the poet wants to present.

The Passing Of The Year
The Passing of the Year
My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,
My den is all a cosy glow;
And snug before the fire I sit,
And wait to feel the old year go.
I dedicate to solemn thought
Amid my too-unthinking days,
This sober moment, sadly fraught
With much of blame, with little praise.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time
You stand to bow your last adieu;
A moment, and the prompter's chime
Will ring the curtain down on you.
Your mien is sad, your step is slow;
You falter as a Sage in pain;
Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,
And face your audience again.

That sphinx-like face, remote, austere,
Let us all read, what're the cost:
O maiden! why that bitter tear?
Is it for dear one you have lost?
Is it for fond illusion gone?
For trusted lover proved untrue?
O sweet girl-face, so sad, so wan,
What hath the Old Year meant to you?

'And you, O neighbour on my right,
So sleek, so prosperously clad!
What see you in that aged wight
That makes your smile so gay and glad?
What opportunity unmissed?
What golden gain, what pride of place?
What splendid hope" O Optimist!
What read you in that withered face?

And you, deep shrinking in the gloom,
What find you in that filmy gaze?
What menace of a tragic doom?
What dark, condemning yesterdays?
What urge to crime, what evil done?
What cold, confronting shape of fear?
O haggard, haunted, hidden One,
What see you in the dying year?

And so from face to face I flit,
The countless eyes that stare and stare;
Some are with approbation lit,
And some are shadowed with despair.
Some show a smile and some a frown;
Some joy and hope, some pain and woe:
Enough! Oh, ring that curtain down!
Old weary year! it's time to go.

My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go;
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old year! a parting word that's true,
For we've been comrades, you and I -
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, goodbye!