Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  • 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 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 (1809–1892) was the son of a country clergyman and a clergyman’s daughter. The family was relatively well off until they invested, after his father’s death, in a business enterprise that failed and swallowed up most of their savings. When he was 17, Alfred and two of his older brothers published a collection of their verse, and three years later he was awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his poems. The following year, 1830, saw the publication of his first full collection, Poems Chiefly Lyrical. In 1850, already England’s most popular living poet, he was appointed Poet Laureate, a position he held until his death in 1892. The year he was appointed Poet Laureate, Tennyson published “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” which is part of his long poem “In Memoriam,” Tennyson’s elegy for the dearest friend of his youth, Arthur Henry Hallam, who had been engaged to Alfred’s sister until his untimely death at the age of 22. In a Swedish translation, “Ring Out, Wild Bells” is recited annually at the national New Year’s Eve celebration in Stockholm, a tradition that began in 1897, five years after the poet’s death.

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Comments

Robert Hagen Dec. 27, 2012 @ 9:43 p.m.

That's as beautiful a poem as I have ever read. Thanks, Reader.

From the creators of 'Commando, Black', 'Condo' and 'Soccer Mom', comes this new year:

The Odd Couple- set in San Diego, modern times, Oscar Madison is an insipid, dope smoking hacker and sports blogger. Felix Unger is an in denial PTSD prone obssessive compulsive clean freak fresh back from Army service in the Middle East. Upstairs lives Chevrolet salesman extraordinaire, Timothy Versace, with his Occupier SDSU student roommate, Vergil. What a dopehead. It will take the patience of a Saint and the grace of an angel to make it through. The kind environs of Little Italy provide the backdrop for this one!

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