Goblin Market, and other poems, by Christina Rossetti

A Peal of Bells

Strike the bells wantonly,

    Tinkle tinkle well;

Bring me wine, bring me flowers,

    Ring the silver bell.

All my lamps burn scented oil,

    Hung on laden orange-trees,

Whose shadowed foliage is the foil

    To golden lamps and oranges.

Heap my golden plates with fruit,

    Golden fruit, fresh-plucked and ripe;

    Strike the bells and breathe the pipe;

Shut out showers from summer hours —

Silence that complaining lute —

    Shut out thinking, shut out pain,

    From hours that cannot come again.

Strike the bells solemnly,

    Ding dong deep:

My friend is passing to his bed,

    Fast asleep;

There’s plaited linen round his head,

    While foremost go his feet —

His feet that cannot carry him.

My feast’s a show, my lights are dim;

    Be still, your music is not sweet, —

There is no music more for him:

    His lights are out, his feast is done;

His bowl that sparkled to the brim

Is drained, is broken, cannot hold;

My blood is chill, his blood is cold;

    His death is full, and mine begun.


Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 15:33