All Christmas Poetry
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The year like a ship in the distance
Comes over life’s mystical sea.
We know not what change of existence
‘Tis bringing to you or to me.
But we wave out the ship that is leaving
And we welcome the ship coming in,
Although it be loaded with grieving,
With trouble, or losses, or sin.
Old year passing over the border,
And fading away from our view;
All idleness, sloth, and disorder,
All hatred and spite go with you.
All bitterness, gloom, and repining
Down into your stronghold are cast.
Sail out where the sunsets are shining,
Sail out with them into the past.
Good reigns over all; and above us,
As sure as the sun gives us light,
Great forces watch over and love us,
And lead us along through the night.
Look up, and reach out, and believe them–
Believe in your infinite worth.
Do nothing to wound or to grieve them,
And you shall find heaven on earth.
The body needs conflict and tussle,
To render it forceful and grand;
The soul, too, has sinew and muscle,
Which sorrow alone can expand.
Though troubles come faster and faster,
Rise up, brace yourself for each blow;
It is only Fate’s great fencing Master
Instructing your spirit to grow.
The new ship comes nearer and nearer,
We know not what freight she may hold;
Hope stands at the helm there to steer her,
Our hearts are courageous and bold.
Sail in with new joys and new sorrows,
Sail in with new banners unfurled,
Sail in with unwritten to-morrows,
Sail in with new tasks for the world.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.