"Lines" - poetry by Rbt. Dewhurst

Church Bells - A Book and a Poem

A book on Bell Ringing, The History & Art of Change Ringing, by Ernest Morris was originally published in 1931 by Chapman and Hall. The following poem appears in the book:

LINES (Upon a Six-bell Performance rung in the North of England.)
ROBERT DEWHURST, Walton-le-dale

The merry bells of All Saints' tower,
Pealed forth their tuneful lay,
Long did their mellow echoes swell,
Through woodland vale and flowery dell,
Their splendid music sounded well,
One bright September day.

As evening's shades began to show,
Each man unto his post did go,
Just as the sun, in sinking low,
Shone forth its silvery ray;
Six ringers stripped, with rope in hand
Stood on the belfry floor;
Each mind was bent on the hard feat,
That night resolved it to complete,
And ring the merry bells so sweet,
For three long hours and more.

On, on, they ring, with wondrous skill
Their echoes sound from hill to hill,
O'er the small village of Moon's Mill,

The merry peals did pour;
O'er landscape wide, far o'er the plain,
The list'ners paused to catch the strain,
And hear the well-struck peals that came
From All Saints' lofty tower.

None weary seemed, though all the while
They dripped with sweat. None felt the toil,
But with each other changed a smile,
As peal after peal they rung.
Until they heard the well-known sound,
The single called-that brought them round!
Then knew their task was done.

A tablet is erected there,
To be seen by any one who may,
With all their names and peals they rung,
In memory of that day.
And such will be the record there,
Of peals that were to us so dear,
When merry bells we've ceased to hear,
And have returned to clay.

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