Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Ring out, wild bells' by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

This poems forms part of 'In Memoriam', an elegy to Tennyson's sister's fiance. Since 1897, it's been recited every New Year's Eve by a Swedish actor as part of their  national New Year's Eve celebrations. Now, why can't we have something like that in Melbourne on New Year's Eve?

Slip across to the Tuesday Poem Blog for other Tuesday poems and a link to Dylan Thomas reading 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' - what a fabulous Christmas treat! Thanks to Kathleen Jones for posting it.

This is my last Tuesday poem post until mid-January - thank you all who have been reading the Tuesday poems. I hope everyone has a safe and joyful festive season.


Stripeyspots said...

Thank you. That turned a poor sort of day into a better one.

Elizabeth Welsh said...

What a way to celebrate the New Year - the Swedish obviously know how to do it in style. Uplifting and so hopeful! Thanks for posting.

AJ Ponder said...

Thanks - nothing like the old favourites to raise a smile - even if it seems the wrong time of year ;)

Merry Xmas/Happy Holidays and ring in the New Year :)

Kathleen Jones said...

A brilliant choice, Catty. Have a lovely Christmas and New Year!

Helen Lowe said...

Catty, I love this poem too! :)

Cattyrox said...

Thanks everyone - yes, I agree it does seem the wrong time of year in Australia - although Melbourne can be unpredictable. I remember one year it snowed on Mt Macedon on Boxing Day. However, today it's edging up to 28 degrees celsius. Wishing everyone a great big happy festive season!