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Poem by Elinor Wylie


The Church-Bell


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 oclock.

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 mens feet 
Were drowned in song; Lift up your hearts! 
The song 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.



Elinor Wylie


Elinor Wylie's other poems:
  1. Madmans Song
  2. Primavera in the North
  3. Curious Circumstance
  4. The Lost Path
  5. Venetian Interior


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