I love this classic poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Written in 1850, it still feels weirdly relevant now, as I think about the references to the need return from the false to the true, and to the "sweeter manners and purer laws." And the "false pride in place and blood, the civic slander and the spite" speaks so strongly to life in America today. Ring out, wild bells, and please ring in more love, kindness, and healing of divisions in the coming year.
Ring Out, Wild Bells
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let it die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let it 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 humankind.
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 thy 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 and the free,
The larger heart the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Alfred Lord Tennyson 1850 (slightly paraphrased)