EDITOR’S NOTE: As the New Year of 1903 came in, Harry M. Ayers, the late founder and publisher of The Anniston Star, was en route to the United States from his parents’ missionary station in China with one of the great Baptist missionary figures, Lottie Moon. The traveling party observed the New Year together in Fukuoka, Japan, and for that event, the young Ayers read Tennyson’s great salute. It was a tradition he maintained in his family for the rest of his life. We offer it again here as the great hopeful bow to the New Year that he had considered it.
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 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.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson