Mrs. S. A. Collins



A Vision

by Mrs. S. A. Collins

I sit in my warm and cozy home,

The children are snug in bed.

With thoughts of fancy I seem to roam

Among the dying and the dead.

I think I hear in the distance

A sound like a low, muffled drum,

And stopping to listen, I hear it,

As nearer and nearer it comes.


But stop! I see through the darkness,

Some weird phantom, as it comes down the street,

And as it draws near I gaze on this cortege,

This is the sight which my wandering eyes meet,

I see very quickly it is a funeral procession.

A very strange thing in the darkness of night,

And old "Father Time" has charge of this cortege,

With a book in his left hand, a sickle his right.


His form is so worn and is bending with age,

His hair is hoary and gray;

But he marches along with the beat of the drum

To the place where the dead year must lay.

Following close by and borne by the wind,

Which is beating the drum as they fro,

Is the year Ninety-four, in a casket he lies,

And his mantle is covered with snow.


No kind hand has placed a flower on the bier,

Nor a bud in his cold frozen hand.

But I look through the shadow and see the black pall,

As it stirs, by the winter winds fanned.

Now comes the bearers, in number they are four,

As they carry the dead year along. 

They are Winter and Spring and Summer and Autumn,

With never an anthem, not even a song.


They tell not of the worth of the deal' one who left them,

In the midst of his labors and trust.

But now he is gone and will soon be forgotten,

His influence here cannot moulder in dust.

Now comes the mourners, oh, look at the numbers!

How vast and why all these bereft?

They are the days of the dead year, in fact his existence

And now he is dead they are hopelessly left.


With no guide, no defender, to make right a wrong,

Which one of the first ones had done,

And others had promised to make compensation.

Before the year would be gone.

And each day, as she looks at the dead year before her,

Thinks of some bright priceless gem,

Which she lost somewhere in the year Ninety-four,

Never to find it again.


As I witness their grief and drop sympathy's teal',

While in silence they are moving along,

I think of some good deed or kind word for the dead,

And quietly I'm roused from my dream by a song,

And the New Year comes in, with the bright light of morning.

She holds in her hands great achievements for all,

Who are willing to strive for the good and the noble.

And I seemed to forget that dark funeral pall.