Lo! Dawn's first rays light up the dome

Whose denizens have all gone home.

Then down the avenue they whisk

To set the marble obelisk

Aglow! and then the White House gate!

It's here at last! It's '88!

All hail the bright, unstained new year!

(And to the old, a loud Bronx cheer.)

But ere we rip away December

Let's pause a moment to remember.

Champagne uncorked? Then fill the glasses!

A toast to all the lads and lasses

Who made the old year so sublime!

(At least the ones that we can rhyme.)

Ring in the new, ring out the old!

The Iran-contra hearings told

Of murky dealings on the sly

That none can plausibly deny.

Swiss bank accounts! the sultan's bucks!

The White House basement runamoks!

To Ollie North! and his gal Fawn!

Shredding papers until dawn.

Poindexter, John, held us in thrall

Though there wasn't much he could recall.

Hail, Elliot Abrams! Dick Secord!

In the flesh, and on record!

Albert Hakim! McFarlane, Bob!

All in all, 'twas quite a job.

For sheer intrigue and folks disgraced,

We hardy missed the soaps displaced.

To auld lang syne! To '87!

To those enmeshed in Chapter 11!

The market quivered, then it veered,

A zillion dollars disappeared.

The groans! the cries! the caterwauls!

The yuppies missed their margin calls.

E'en TV preachers, as a bunch,

Discovered there is no free lunch.

Off'rings are down, the Dow is stressed,

The Golden Goose is repossessed.

Mike Deaver! Wedtech! Heads are reeling!

What happened to that good-time feeling?

A nation's ethics, 'pon our soul,

Went flying through the ozone hole.

Ten grand bought breakfast in this city

With the chairman of the tax committee,

'Til publicity drove the plan asunder.

(Who pays for his eggs now, we wonder?)

You need a favor? In a trice!

(A quarter mil's the going price.)

The trade gap grows, the dollar's cowed,

The Pope can't get a decent crowd.

By femme fatales Marines are mugged,

The Moscow embassy is bugged.

The ranks of homeless swell'd quite large,

We couldn't dock the garbage barge.

Down south, the Asian cockroach looms,

The basement's filled with radon fumes,

The freeway's a free-fire zone.

Farewell, old year! We're glad you're done!

Good health, though! the new year's arrived

And even Ed Meese has survived.

To Ron and Gorbie! Have a tot!

They signed a treaty, but could not

Begin to warm, although they tried,

The cold war on the distaff side.

The White House gave it one last try,

But th' High Court's still a justice shy.

Bob Bork's views cost him in the Senate

(Although he said he never meant it).

And when he 'fessed to just a toke,

Doug Ginsburg's chance went up in smoke.

Refill your glass, now, give a cheer!

The revolving door spun fast last year.

(Sam Pierce, though, has th' survivor's touch:

Live clean, lay low and don't say much.)

Don Regan left 'neath Nancy's glare,

Now Howard Baker's got his chair.

And Pat Buchanan didn't stick,

Though the draft-Pat movement fizzled quick.

'Bye, Cap Weinberger! Liddy Dole!

Farewell, Bill Brock! and Volcker, Paul!

Yo, Frank Carlucci! Jim Burnley!

McLaughlin, Ann! Bill Verity!

Cheers, Alan Greenspan! Lotsa luck!

The economy has come unstuck!

Skoal, Colin Powell! Webster, Bill!

Fitzwater, Marlin! Madeleine Will!

In lesser posts, the outflow grows!

(The Reagan years draw to a close.)

Wassail to ev'ry candidate

Who's set his cap for '88!

May the wind be always at your back,

May your private lives be hard to track.

May you never cross the FEC,

May the facts match your biography.

If you get caught in some fool mess,

Just blame it on the lousy press.

To Gary Hart! His quick return

Gave all the Democrats slow burn.

(It's not that his ideas are bad,

They're just the same that Adam had.)

Joe Biden said . . . But that's a bore.

Besides, you've heard it all before.

George Bush, Bob Dole, gear up to fight.

Who sits at Ron's right hand tonight?

To Jesse Jackson! Dick Gephardt!

Jack Kemp! Bruce Babbitt! Pete du Pont!

Paul Simon! Als, both Haig and Gore!

Dukakis, Mike, and (wait, there's more!)

Pat Robertson and (who's to know?)

Perhaps shy Mario Cuomo!

To Schroeder, Pat! The dwarfs' Snow White!

Withdrew, then cried, but that's all right.

For hark! The primary season nears,

A thought that moves us all to tears.

Hail, fed'ral workers! Agencies!

From D.C. to the territories!

Filing papers, writing bans,

Wrestling over pension plans.

To IRS! Let's toast once more

Whoever wrote that W-4.

We hope work's safer in the mines,

And OSHA handed out some fines.

To Justice! (Are we out of mix?)

This round's on General Dynamics!

The lawyers, slightly red of face,

Discovered that they had no case.

To FCC! But just one rhyme,

Cause we needn't give them equal time.

A Cabinet seat! VA's rhapsodic!

(A nay vote was unpatriotic!)

To EPA, the AIDS commission,

And last, because it's our tradition,

To all of you! A happy year!

Prosit! Salud! And much good cheer!

May the new year all your cares assuage,

And bring you peace.