From In Memoriam:
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 (1809 – 1892)
Well, it's New Year's Eve, one of my least favorite days of the year. Today's Sherman's Lagoon sums up my feelings on the subject pretty well, so I'll just refer you to that rather than waste a lot of time trying to put it into my own words. I'll concede that it's useful having a commonly agreed-upon time at which one year ends and the next one begins, and that Lord Tennyson has a point that the end of the year serves as a useful symbolic dividing line, but I really don't see any reason to or any value in publicly celebrating that arbitrarily chosen date.