All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
The Old Year turned out not to be a good one for many in Edgefield County and throughout the world. It is a time-honored tradition not to look back with regret as a new year starts, but instead to look forward with hope. There are many ways to say that; as a former Sailor, one of my favorites is the adage that one should steer a ship by looking beyond the bow, and not by staring at the wake. Another is the following poem, published in memory of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s youthful friend Arthur Hallam, who had died fifteen years before it was published in 1850. Read it and see if you agree with me: it seems particularly well suited to the end of 2021 and to the start of 2022.
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
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 him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him 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 mankind.
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 my 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 man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.