Edgar Allan Poe: The Bells

1. The Bells

               HEAR the sledges with the bells -
                     Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
           How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
                 In the icy air of night!
           While the stars that oversprinkle
           All the heavens, seem to twinkle
                 With a crystalline delight;
              Keeping time, time, time,
              In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
      From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
                     Bells, bells, bells -
   From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.


               Hear the mellow wedding-bells
                     Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
           Through the balmy air of night
           How they ring out their delight! -
                 From the molten-golden notes,
                     And all in tune,
                 What a liquid ditty floats
      To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
                     On the moon!
             Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
                     How it swells!
                     How it dwells
                 On the Future! - how it tells
                 Of the rapture that impels
             To the swinging and the ringing
                 Of the bells, bells, bells -
      Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
                     Bells, bells, bells -
   To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!


               Hear the loud alarum bells -
                     Brazen bells!
What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
           In the startled ear of night
           How they scream out their affright!
               Too much horrified to speak,
               They can only shriek, shriek,
                  Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
                  Leaping higher, higher, higher,
                  With a desperate desire,
               And a resolute endeavor
               Now - now to sit, or never,
           By the side of the pale-faced moon.
                  Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
                  What a tale their terror tells
                     Of Despair!
        How they clang, and clash, and roar!
        What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
           Yet the ear, it fully knows,
                 By the twanging
                 And the clanging,
            How the danger ebbs and flows;
        Yet, the ear distinctly tells,
              In the jangling
              And the wrangling,
        How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -
              Of the bells -
      Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
                     Bells, bells, bells -
   In the clamour and the clangour of the bells!

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