Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

The Doom Of Ys - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

DO you hear the bell? 'Tis a silver chime
But it ringeth not in the bourne of time.

With the wind it swells, with the wind 'twill sink,
Dying at last by the sea's dim brink.

By mortal hands the bell was hung
By mortal hands 'tis never swung.

When the moon's at full and the long tide creeps
It rings o'er the town that the deep sea keeps--

The town of Ys, that, unafraid,
Cursed God's good bells for the noise they made,

Cursed them well and pulled them down
From every belfry in the town!

For that sin of pride and that pride of sin,
Deathly and soft, a Doom stole in.

It sucked through the stone, it stole through the street,
It rose in the hall, silent and fleet;

Soundless it swept through the market-place
Folding the town in a chill embrace;

No ruth it knew, it heard no call,
Sinner and saint it gathered them all,

Gathered them all, while over them
The bells they had cursed tolled requiem.

Do you hear the bell? When the full moon rides
It rings o'er the town that the deep sea hides!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010



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