The Bells Are Silent

Guy Ricketts

Livonia, United States

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The Church-Bell
by Elinor Wylie

As I was lying in my bed
I heard the church-bell ring;
Before one solemn word was said
A bird began to sing.

I heard a dog begin to bark
And a bold crowing cock;
The bell, between the cold and dark,
Tolled. It was five o’clock.

The church-bell tolled, and the bird sang,
A clear true voice he had;
The cock crew, and the church-bell rang,
I knew it had gone mad.

A hand reached down from the dark skies,
It took the bell-rope thong,
The bell cried “Look! Lift up your eyes!”
The clapper shook to song.

The iron clapper laughed aloud,
Like clashing wind and wave;
The bell cried out “Be strong and proud!”
Then, with a shout, “Be brave!”

The rumbling of the market-carts,
The pounding of men’s feet
Were drowned in song; “Lift up your hearts!”
The sound was loud and sweet.

Slow and slow the great bell swung,
It hung in the steeple mute;
And people tore its living tongue
Out by the very root.

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