To the New Year : W.H. Davies

A Happy New Year to one and all.

Though my Scots left foot is itching to go a first-footing, I’m afraid the rest of me finds this celebration a little spurious and artificial.  Where we ought to be – to my mediaeval sensibility – is in the middle of the twelve days of continuous merrymaking and feasting that culminated in the great festival of Twelfth Night.  Instead we tend to have one last desparate blow out in defiance of the fact that we will soon be back at work or school (which ought, to my mind, to occur on Plow Monday (with its attendant festivals) – and not before).

It is also seems to me to be the worst possible time of year to be making resolutions.  I suspect a resolution (particularly if it involves denying ourselves life’s little comforts) has more chance of success if made in the Spring, rather than when there are at least two more months of darkness to be endured.  

I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution in my life, and I intend to keep to that.  But here are some resolutions of a kind from W.H. “Supertramp” Davies.  Note that whereas most people nowadays resolve to give up drinking, smoking or eating too much, Davies is hoping that he will be able to afford to drink, smoke and eat.  Though, come to think of it, that could apply to a lot of us this coming year.

But please do remember, This Blog Says  – “Drink responsibly”.     

To the New Year


Welcome, New Year, but be more kind

Than thy dead father left behind;

If I may kiss no mouth that’s red,

Give me the open mouth instead

Of a black bottle of old wine

To gurgle in its neck and mine.

Let not my belly once complain

For want of meat, or fruit, or grain;

But keep it always tight and quiet-

No matter if with drink or diet.

And, New Year, may I never need

In vain a pipeful of strong weed,

That sends my baby clouds on high

To join big brothers in the sky.

No gold I ask, but that I may

Have some small silver every day

Not for one night let sleep forsake

My side, and show the Morning break;

Let me not hear Time’s strokes in bed,

And feel the pain of one thought dead,

Who hears the earth cast in his grave.

I care not what poor clothes I have;

I’ll only think it shame and sin

To show my naked thigh or shin

When the wind blows.  Give me, New Year,

Tobacco, bread and meat, and beer.

Also a few old books, so I

Can read about an age gone by;

But as for how the present goes-

I’ll thank the Lord the Devil knows.


2 thoughts on “To the New Year : W.H. Davies

    • And Happy New Year to you, WH. Having said all this I must admit I had a thoroughly good time last night, but I’m sure the point about resolutions is true (for me, anyway).

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