“On The New Year” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was published in the year 1804. However if you look around then you shall be intrigued by an interesting fact – the prologue to the poem says that the poem was composed by Goethe on the occasion of parties that were hosted at the poet’s house during the course of the year 1802.
The theme of the poem is very positive and as such it is not difficult to guess that the parties that were held have been merry ones. The original name of the poem is “Zum neuen Jahr” and it was first published in Taschenbuch auf das Jahr in the aforementioned year under the editorship of Wieland and Goethe.
Goethe’s principle in life was to acquire the most out of each moment that he lived, and the poetry is a candid reflection of the poet’s zest and zeal for life. Goethe was eager to live each day of his life king size, and naturally thought of sharing the same enthusiasm with his guests at the party.
What we sing in company
Soon from heart to heart will fly.
THE Gesellige Lieder, which I have angicisled
as above, as several of them cannot be called convivial songs, are
separated by Goethe from his other songs, and I have adhered to
the same arrangement. The Ergo bibamus is a well-known drinking
song in Germany, where it enjoys vast popularity.
ON THE NEW YEAR.
[Composed for a merry party that used to meet,
in 1802, at Goethe’s house.]
FATE now allows us,
‘Twixt the departing
And the upstarting,
Happy to be;
And at the call of
Future and perish’d
Moments we see.
Seasons of anguish,–
Ah, they must ever
Truth from woe sever,
Love and joy part;
Days still more worthy
Soon will unite us,
Fairer songs light us,
Strength’ning the heart.
We, thus united,
Think of, with gladness,
Rapture and sadness,
Sorrow now flies.
Oh, how mysterious
Old the connection,
New-born the prize!
Thank, for this, Fortune,
Thank all that kindly
Fate may bestow!
Revel in change’s
Love far sincerer,
More heartfelt glow!
Over the old one,
Sad and dejected,
Others may view;
But, on us gently
Shineth a true one,
And to the new one
We, too, are new.
As a fond couple
‘Midst the dance veering,
So let affection
Guide thro’ life’s mazy
Pathways so hazy
Into the year!
– By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
More New Year Poems
- Sketch—New Year’s Day, 1790 by Robert Burns
- The Auld Farmer’s New-Year-Morning Salutation to his Auld Mare, Maggie by Robert Burns
- When the new year by Rg Gregory
- 1819 New Year’s Carrier’s Address by Major Henry Livingston, Jr.
- A New Year’s Day Poem By Charles Moir
- A New Year’s Gift by William Strode
- A NEW YEAR’S GIFT,SENT TO SIR SIMEON STEWARD by Robert Herrick
- A New Year’s Resolution to Leave Dundee by William Topaz McGonagall
- My New Year’s resolution by By Robert Fisher
- New Year’s Eve by David Herbert Lawrence
- NEW YEAR POEM by Barry Tebb
- New Year’s Chimes by Francis Thompson
- New Year’s Eve by Robert William Service
- New Year’s Morning by Helen Hunt Jackson
- ON THE NEW YEAR by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alf navy, Lord Tennyson