Ring out, wild bells

I came across this, sent to me by the Derbyshire Poem a Month blog:

This month’s poem has been chosen by Maria Bärås, a graduate from Sweden who has just finished a three month work experience placement with Derbyshire Libraries.

‘The poem I associate with this time of year is Alfred,  Lord Tennyson’s Christmas poem “Ring Out Wild Bells”.  Since 1895 it has been a tradition in Sweden to recite this poem on 31st of December at the stroke of Midnight.  The poem is read aloud outdoors by a well known Swede, often an actor and the recitation is considered a task of honour. People gather out in the cold and crispy night, listening to the poem with big thick hats and red noses.  You can see the recitor’s breath whilst reading.  The event is telecast live from Stockholm and ends with a big firework display. The radio broadcast follows up “Ring Out Wild Bells” with a ringing of bells from various Cathedrals all over Sweden.  One at a time each Cathedral is introduced and a series of bell songs are played on the radio.  The poem is hopeful and brings a message of peace.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! ‘ – Maria Bärås                                           

Ring Out, Wild Bells

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 my 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.
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

If you’re celebrating the turn of the year tonight, we here at the Chesterfield Pagans website wish you fortune and good favour, laughter and light, merriment and merry making for this new year and all the years to come.  And a very happy 2765 – Tiro…


One thought on “Ring out, wild bells

  1. Wonderfully inspiring and heartfelt sentiments in that poem.
    Wolfman and I would like to wish all people reading (and writing) this website a truly blessed 2012. When the bad times strike remember to love and be loved. Happy New Year everyone. Xxx

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