New Year 1945
With every power for good to stay and guide me,
comforted and inspired beyond all fear,
I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me,
and pass, with you, into the coming year.
The old year still torments our hearts, unhastening:
the long days of our sorrow still endure:
Father, grant to the souls thou hast been chastening
that thou hast promised, the healing and the cure.
Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving
even to the dregs of pain, at thy command,
we will not falter, thankfully receiving
all that is given by thy loving hand.
But, should it be thy will once more to release us
to life’s enjoyment and its good sunshine,
that which we’ve learned from sorrow shall increase us,
and all our life be dedicate as thine.
To-day, let candles shed their radiant greeting
lo, on our darkness are they not thy light
leading us, haply, to our longed-for meeting—
Thou canst illumine even our darkest night.
When now the silence deepens for our harkening
grant we may hear thy children’s voices raise
from all the unseen world around us darkening
their universal paean, in thy praise.
While all the powers of Good aid and attend us
boldly we’ll attend the future, be it what may
At even, and at morn, God will befriend us,
and oh, most surely on each new year’s day!
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer (written in a German prison, several months before his execution)