Ring Out, Wild Bells
by: Alfred Lord Tennyson
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.
Christmas is a time to renew and better ourselves.
I have a mentor who sets a stocking out for Jesus every year. In that stocking each family member places a slip of paper on which is written what they will give Christ that coming year. It could be things like “donate to the homeless shelter,” “spend Saturday afternoons with my kids,” or “serve my community.” Whatever is written, it is, of course, something that person feels Christ would like them to do.
The following year they take out their goals, review how they did, and replace them with new ones. I think this is a great tradition that shows exactly what this poem is trying to communicate. “Ring out the old” parts of ourselves that we can do without, and “ring in the new” better selves that we all can be.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash