January” brackets a “hymn to the New Year" with paragraphs pointing up to readers of Robert Merry’s Museum that prose can rhyme, too.

“January” (from Robert Merry’s Museum, January 1851; pp. 1-2)

It is now January, and Mr. Robert Merry, on this New Year’s day, will be expected to say to his many friends, that his love he sends, to each and all, both great and small; to Black eyes and Blue, and the Grey eyes too, and all beside, if any such abide, in this country wide; and he hopes the Girls and Boys, will enjoy their New Year’s toys; and when the evening blaze has shone upon their plays; when Blind-man’s buff is done, and hunt the slipper’s fun, and button button’s o’er, and all upon the floor—father and mother, sister and brother, cousin and lover, are cozy and clever—sitting in a ring, they will all deign to sing, the song which we write, in plain black and white, and which, ’tis very clear, is

p. 2


Bright morning shines, and on its wings,

The New Year to us, smiling, brings:

May Hope and Love and Peace have sway,

Throughout the Happy New Year’s day!

The leaves are dead, the birds departed,

The wailing wind seems broken-hearted—

But Love a bosom-summer sends,

’Mid winter’s gloom, to circling friends.

Oh yes, and happy Youth can find

In winter’s snow and winter’s wind

Bright scenes—for Heaven’s kindly care

Hath scattered beauty everywhere.

Aye—and the heart in love made warm,

E’en be it old—in cloud and storm—

Can feel a breath, as if the wing

Of angels brought the joys of spring.

Love is the sunshine of the soul,

And summer season’s soft control,

In every month, in earth and heaven,

To loving hearts is ever given.

Oh, let us then its beauty cherish,

In its sweet light let envy perish—

And pride and anger melt away,

As the chill air in loving May.

And all the circling year before us,

The old and young shall join in chorus,

While hymning praise to heaven ascends,

For life and light—for home and friends.

And now, I wish to say, that when you sing this lay, you must all try it—let no one deny it, and say he’s too old, or has got a bad cold—and don’t know how to sing—and all that sort of thing. Let father and mother, sister and brother go it strong, and the little ones will come along, gingerly at first—but soon, their lips will burst with the full, soft swell, you have all sung so well—and your tears will arise, as you see their little eyes, softly turned to the skies, while they offer up their prayer to their kind Father there!

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