Garlands of ferns mist the frosted pane,
As Lizzy peers out to see the icy lane,
Drifts of snow swathe the fields in white,
A New Year’s early start by candlelight.
Lizzy hears the laughter as Jane slumbers on,
Kitty and Lydia are up, eager to be gone.
Off to join the revellers sledging in the snow,
Whilst Mary shuns the cold, refusing to go.
Jane is going to London for a holiday treat,
To aunt and uncle Gardiner in Gracechurch Street.
Lizzy hopes Mr Bingley will call on Jane there,
Together she thinks they make a perfect pair.
Not so much perfection as an arrangement of a kind,
Lizzy trusts her friend Charlotte may soon find
The happiness she hopes for in heavenly wedded bliss,
And the will to pucker up for Mr Collins’ kiss!
But, what will the year bring for our precious girl?
She, whose fine eyes match every nut-brown curl.
Mr Wickham’s charms seem to be fading fast,
Elizabeth sees his preference for another at last.
Will she seek solace in mountains and rocks?
Or in muslin and ribbon, new gowns and fresh frocks?
Perhaps she’ll be won over by a gentleman true
Who will gain her heart so she’ll pledge ‘I do’!
Lizzy doesn’t know it yet, but Reader, we do,
Our beloved Mr Darcy will soon be coming into view.
Pride and Prejudice will be turned round about,
And love will triumph over mistrust and doubt.
The silence of the morning breaks as Meryton springs to life
Mr Bennet is home with the post and greets his wife.
Boisterous boys and red-caped girls skate on the frozen lake
As toast and tea to break their fast the Bennet family take.
Slender tracery on stained-glass trees standing in a row
Frame the blackwork hills and blazing cottages below.
A picture of the countryside, New Year dress’d
Jane Austen’s English landscape, seen at its best.
Happy New Year to you all!