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A Coasting Song, from the Harper's

 

COASTING NEW-YEAR'S EVE. Drawn by C. Graham. COASTING NEW-YEAR'S EVE.
Drawn by C. Graham.

From the quaint old farm-house, nestling warmly
'Neath its overhanging thatch of snow,
Out into the moonlight troop the children,
Filling all the air with music as they go,
Gliding, sliding,
Down the hill,
Never minding
Cold nor chill,
O'er the silvered
Moon-lit snow,
Swift as arrow
From the bow,
With a rush
Of mad delight
Through the crisp air
Of the night,
Speeding far out
O'er the plain,
Trudging gayly
Up again
To where the firelight's
Ruddy glow
Turns to gold
The silver snow.
Finer sport who can conceive
Than that of coasting New-Year's Eve?
Half the fun lies in the fire
That seems to brighter blaze and higher
Than any other of the year,
As though his dying hour to cheer,
And at the same time greeting give
To him who has a year to live.
'Tis built of logs of oak and pine,
Filled in with branches broken fine;
It roars and crackles merrily;
The children round it dance with glee;
They sing and shout and welcome in
The new year with a joyous din
That rings far out o'er hill and dale,
And warns the watchers in the vale
'Tis time the church bells to employ
To spread the universal joy.

Then the hill is left in silence
As the coasters homeward go,
And the crimson of the fire-light
Fades from off the trodden snow.

So the years glide by as swiftly
As the sleds rush down the hill,
And each new one as it cometh
Bringeth more of good than ill.