The Bell

I love thy music, mellow bell,
I love thine iron chime,
To life or death, to heaven or hell,
Which calls the sons of Time.

Thy voice upon the deep
The home-bound sea-boy hails,
It charms his cares to sleep,
It cheers him as he sails.

To house of God and heavenly joys
Thy summons called our sires,
And good men thought thy sacred voice
Disarmed the thunder's fires.

And soon thy music, sad death-bell,
Shall lift its notes once more,
And mix my requiem with the wind
That sweeps my native shore.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Other poems of EMERSON (118)

Comments (21)

Thy voice upon the deep! ! Nice work.
...........this poem reminds me of those famous lines in john donne's poem...no man is an island ....~ for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee ~
I Love the imagery in this poem!
Maybe he just wanted the poem to ring out and resonate in two or more ways like it did for him. I think he accomplished that.
I agree with Juan Olivarez, this poem at no point within any stanza, expresses a specific religious doctrine. This is a personalized interaction with God which atheists have outlawed from the school system and all public buildings in too many places. This is a For whom the bell tolls a poem (No man is an island) by John Donne style poem, though more simply expressed. The poem contemplates death, I love thine iron chime, / To life or death, to heaven or hell, from the first stanza, And soon thy music, sad death-bell, / Shall lift its notes once more, / And mix my requiem with the wind to the last stanza; in contemplation of life and death. An intolerance of bells when others mourn the loss of loved ones in death is sad. Personally I love cultural diversity, which extended to the beauty of the call to prayer in beautiful mosques in Istanbul, especially those built in the Ottoman period. A little religious tolerance goes a long way, and the beauty of the lines within 'The Bell', demands more focus and analysis. Read the poem a few times, it is beautiful to reflect upon.
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