A New Year Idyl – A Poem by Eugene Field with a Recording

A New Year Idyl is an amusing poem by Eugene Field about someone helping a cockroach have fun on New Years Eve.  Eugene Field (1850 – 1895) is the author of the well-known kid’s poem, The Gingham Dog and Calico Cat (The Duel).

Here’s the definition of "Idyl":

1. a. A short poem or prose piece depicting a rural or pastoral scene, usually in idealized terms.
b. A narrative poem treating an epic or romantic theme.

2. A scene or event of a simple and tranquil nature.

Knowing the meaning of "idyl" makes the poem even funnier.

Here’s the poem with a Recording…

MP3 of A New Year Idyl



Upon this happy New Year night,
A roach crawls up my pot of paste,
And begs me for a tiny taste.
Aye, eat thy fill, for it is right
That while the rest of earth is glad,
And bells are ringing wild and free,
Thou shouldst not, gentle roachling, be
Forlorn and gaunt and weak and sad.

This paste to-night especially
For thee and all thy kind I fixed,
You’ll find some whiskey in it mixed,
For which you have to thank but me.
So freely of the banquet take,
And if you chance to find a drop
Of liquor, prithee do not stop
But quaff it for thy stomach’s sake.

Why dost thou stand upon thy head,
All etiquette requirements scorning,
And sing "You won’t go home till morning"
And "Put me in my little bed"?
Your tongue, fair roach, is very thick,
Your eyes are red, your cheeks are pale,
Your underpinning seems to fail,
You are, I wot*, full as a tick.


I think I see that roach’s home,
That roach’s wife, with broom in hand,
That roach come staggering homeward and
Then all is glum and gloom and gloam.

*Wot means "know" here.
**An envoi is "a brief stanza concluding certain forms of poetry".

The New Year is just around the corner.  Hope yours is wonderful!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, November 26th, 2010 at 12:52 pm and is filed under A New Year Idyl, Countries & Cultures, English, Eugene Field, Holidays Around the World, Languages, New Years, New Years Poems, Poems, Poetry, Poets, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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