Henry Clay Work

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

The Fire Bells Are Ringing - Poem by Henry Clay Work

One, two, three--hark, hark, boys!
One, two, three, four!
The fire-bells are ringing, this wild wintry night;
They ask aid from District Thirty-four,
There somebody's riches are now taking flight;
On flame-wings away, away they soar.
But hark!
With shriek and wail,
How raves the gale!
Like demon steeds it speeds--
like galloping gangs from Pandemonium hurl'd.
Yes, firemen, take courage! did valiant deeds avail,
Then you were the victors of the world.

Ring the bells again!
Wake the electric wire!
And flash abroad the warning words--
"FIRE! FIRE!"
God save the city! for man's devices fail
When fierce flames with wintry winds conspire,
But hark!
With shriek and wail (With shriek and wail!)
How raves the gale! (How raves the gale!)
Like demon steeds it speeds--
like galloping gangs from Pandemonium hurl'd.
Yes, firemen, take courage! did valiant deeds avail,
Then your were the victors of the world.

One, two, three--hark, hark, boys!
One, two, three, four!
The fire-bells are ringing, an urgent appeal;
The engines go dashing by the door,
All safe here, children, no fear need we feel;
But God help in District Thirty-four,
What's that?
Look there! look there!
A lurid glare
Lights up the sky--aye, aye!
and columns of red, devouring flame appear.
And see! for departure our neighbors prepare;
Perchance there is danger even here.

One, two, three--hark, hark, boys!
One, two, three, four!
The fire-bells are ringing, a last grand alarm;
How vast must the conflagration be!
Our own roof is blazing! yet where, free from harm,
Oh! where shall we our treasures flee?
Let's haste!
'Twill fall! 'Twill fall--
That granite wall;
I see it crumbling, tumbling!
Fly for your lives, from out this fiery grave!
Laid low, crush'd, buried are some beyond recall;
But thank God! my little flock I save.


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Read poems about / on: courage, fire, warning, city, god, children, red, fear, world, sky, thanks, child, wind



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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