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Elinor Wylie (Элинор Уайли)

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 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 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's other poems:
  1. Address to My Soul
  2. Escape
  3. The Lost Path
  4. Nadir
  5. Valentine

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