This poem was the "hymn" in tonight's Vespers prayers in The Divine Hours, and I thought it highly appropriate to share with you all as 2009 begins:
Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out false, ring in true.
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 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