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When the Victorian poets got it right, they got it very right. You just have to abandon yourself to it. There is nothing cynical about the poem at all.. When we read Kipling, Poe, Burns, the rhymes make them seem very old fashioned. But this one is easy to love.

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.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
Great choice. I have my Victorian Lit students read most of In Memoriam (it's just a survey course, so we can't do the whole), and some of them really like it. (Others find it the greatest torture on earth, but such are the vagaries of personal taste /g/).
Dec. 31st, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
I must be old-fashioned because I like poetry that rhymes!
Dec. 31st, 2013 11:26 pm (UTC)
Perfect :)
Jan. 1st, 2014 11:45 am (UTC)
Lovely. The New Year certainly came in wildly here with thunder and lightning!
Jan. 1st, 2014 01:42 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year!

Edited at 2014-01-01 01:42 pm (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )