This by Mary Oliver from her lovely, lovely 2012 collection, "A Thousand Mornings," (Penguin, 2012) available in paperback, so get down to your local bookstore. Christmas is coming and your friends deserve a nice book of poems for the new year and this one's a gem.
Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness
Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
into a rich mash, in order that it may resume.
who would cry out
to the petals on the ground
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married
to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say
it's easy, but
what else will do
if the love one claims to have for the world
So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,
though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.