Ring Out, Wild Bells (from In Memoriam)

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be. 

– Lord Alfred Tennyson


2 Responses

  1. Hey Mark,
    You’ve written before about the history of Christmas and its relationship, or lack thereof, with “paganism”, so I wondered what would be your take on this article:
    In the War on Christmas, the heathens are still winning

    Although to be fair, its mostly about contrasting and comparing historical trends when it comes to Christmas celebrations, so there’s not much to object to on those grounds. I just wanted to share an article that I came across that provides a different viewpoint on one of the topics you geek about.

    Happy New Year!

    1. I think by far and away the biggest engine of de-Christianization of culture in the West (Christianity is booming in Asian the global Sounth and the past century has seen the most massive expansion of Christianity in it entire history) is Christians (particular MAGA and fascist post-Christian “Christians”) who are a scandal and a hissing and whose behavior in their quest for nihilist power is a stench in the nostrils of the living God, not the bullshit “War on Christmas”. One of the paradoxes Tom Holland points out is that the very concept of the “secular” owes its existence to nothing but the Christian tradition that invented it–something shocking to both secularists and Fundamentalists, who are often brothers under the skin in countless ways.

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