The Passing of the Year
by Robert Service
The first member of the audience we meet is a young woman. Apparently she'd pretty bummed out. The speaker doesn't know why she's so miserable, but he guesses that it might have to do with a dead relative or an unfaithful lover.
- Line 19: In this line the "bitter tear" is evidence that this young lady is crying. We think it might also be more than that. It seems to us that each one of these people is meant to represent more than him or herself. So maybe this tear is a symbol of all of the loss and pain that people have felt in the past year.
- Line 23: Here the speaker addresses the maiden again, but this time he calls her "sweet girl-face." This is actually a trend in the poem. We spend a lot of time looking at faces, and the people in the poem look at each other's faces a lot too. Characters like the "Old-Year" and the Maiden are represented largely through their facial expressions.