An Old Message for a New Year

By Daniel Hinchen, Library Reader Services

As we approach the end of 2019 and the start of 2020, I want to briefly share a few stanzas found in a publication from the 1830s. Titled A Saucy Carrier’s address for the year 1833, this multi-page piece of verse is “Dedicated, in general, to the readers of the Boston daily, semi-weekly, and weekly Advocate.” But the author does not stop there, but instead adds “[Including all who can read, wont read, but ought to be made to read, the TRUTH; with especial wishes for a Happy New Year to its FREE, bold Patrons, and all who are about to become such.]”

1833 New Year Address
A saucy carrier’s address for the year 1833. Dedicated, in general, to the readers of the Boston daily, semi-weekly and weekly Advocate …, [Boston : s.n., 1833].
Without further ado, some words of wisdom from the Saucy Carrier:

TIME rolls his certain, ceaseless round : again
The CARRIER, true to time, knocks at your door ;
Another year has gone, with all of vain,
Or good, that mark’d its progress, and once more
We pause to draw experience from the last,
And in the future, mend the errors of the past

The year that’s gone ! tis but another wave,
Washed on the shore of Time’s all-whelming sea :
Bu ah ! what wrecks of mind, when none could save,
What broken fair resolves, what bliss to be,
Lie buried in that wave’s resistless tide,
Or thrown upon the strand, in ruin wide!

There Retrospection comes, in pensive mood,
To gather up sad fragments of the past :
Fond Melancholy loves to sit and brood
O’er joys that she has lost, the best, the last ;
Hope lingers still, though all around is dark,
And sees, in every rising cloud, her coming bark.

Tis vain, tis vain : of Time that once has been,
One hour, one moment, we can ne’er recall ;
Its virtue or its crime, its bliss or pain,
Have fled. Remorse, repentance, now are all
The wretch has left of guilty, misspent hours,
And wither’d too, lie pleasure’s sweetest flowers.

The author carries on for several more pages, invoking political actors of the day and their effects upon the nation. To read what else this postal poet penned, resolve to visit the Library in the New Year and find out for yourself!

Happy Holidays!