Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

Ring The Bell, Watchman! - Poem by Henry Clay Work

High is the belfry the old sexton stands,
Grasping the rope with his thin bony hands;
Fix'd is his gaze, as by some magic spell,
Till he hears the distant murmmer,
Ring, ring the bell.

"Ring the bell, watchman! ring! ring! ring!
Yes, yes! the good news is now on the wing;
Yes, yes! they come, and with tidings to tell --
Glorious and blessed tidings --
Ring, ring the bell!"

Baring his long silver locks to the breeze,
First for a moment he drops on his knees;
Then with a rigor that few could excel,
Answers the welcome bidding,
Ring, ring the bell.

Hear! from the hilltop, the first signal gun
Thunders the word that some great deed is done;
Hear! thru' the valley the long echoes swell,
Ever and anon repeating,
Ring, ring the bell.

Bonfires are blazing and rockets ascend --
No meager triumphs such tokens portend;
Shout, shout! my brothers, for "all, all is well!"
'Tis the universal chorus,
Ring, ring the bell.

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Read poems about / on: magic, silver, brother

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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