Ring out the old, ring in the new

In Memoriam, [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 love that is to be.


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Thanks for posting this. I wasn't familiar with this poem, but I like it!

One nitpick: the author's name is Alfred Tennyson, his title was "Lord Tennyson," and the similarity is coincidental. He is properly styled "Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson" or "Alfred, Lord Tennyson."

Lovely poem. Thanks for posting it.

By Michelle B (not verified) on 02 Jan 2010 #permalink

Nit pick on the nit pick.

"the similarity is coincidental"

Tenyson was the first Baron of Aldworth and Freshwater, an investiture he turned down until the 1880s.

Victorian fashion established that popular figures who were granted hereditary title or inherited peerage were addressed as Lord followed by their popular names. The granted title after acquires the popular family name "The Baronet Tennyson of Aldworth and Freshwater".

Alfred Lord Tennyson became a popular way of referring to Lord Alfred Tennyson because it recalls the peculiar way his poet's corner tombstone is configured at Westminster and not because it is a proper form of address.

Examples of this are Lord Bertrand Russel or Lord Christopher Guest. Christopher Guest's title is Lord Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest of Saling but Lord Christopher Guest is an accepted and proper address.

Behold his lordship...


Why do I care? Used to be a Debrettâs contributor until I decided that Charles Kidd and Charles Mosley were slightly insane.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 04 Jan 2010 #permalink

Double posting upon the realization that I did not thank Pam for the marvelous poem which was really my original intent.

Thank You.

I received several thousand group photographs and accompanying 'family newsletters' over the holidays. This coupled with demands that I be cheerful caused a song by Noel Coward to keep playing in my head called "That is the End of the News"

So in a less inspirational vein, Happy New Year....

We are told very loudly and often
To lift up our hearts,
We are told that good humour will soften
Fate's cruelest darts
So however bad our domestic troubles may be
We just shake with amusement and sing with glee.

Heigho, Mum's had those pains again,
Granny's in bed with her varicose veins again,
Everyone's gay because dear cousin Florrie
Was run down on Saturday night by a lorry,
We're so thrilled, Elsie's in trouble,
That hernia she had has turned out to be double,
When Albert fell down all
The steps of the Town Hall
He got three bad cuts and a bruise.

We're delighted
To be able to say
We're unable to pay
Off our debts,
We're excited
Because Percy's got mange
And we've run up a bill at the vet's.

Three cheers! Ernie's got boils again,
Everything's covered in ointment and oils again,
Now he's had seven
So God's in His heaven
And that is the end of the news.

We are told that it's dismal and dreary
To air our despairs,
We are told to be gallant and cheery
And banish our cares
So when fortune gives us a cup of hemlock to quaff
We just give a slight hiccup and laugh laugh laugh.

Heigho, everything's fearful,
We do wish that Vi was a little more cheerful,
The only result of her last operation
Has been gales of wind at the least provocation.
Now don't laugh, poor Mrs Mason
Was washing some smalls in the lavatory basin
When that old corroded
Gas-heater exploded
And blew her smack into the news.

We're in clover,
Uncle George is in clink
For refusing to work for the war,
Now it's over
Auntie Maud seems to think
He'll be far better placed than before.

What fun -- dear little Sidney.
Produced a spectacular stone in his kidney,
He's had eleven
So God's in His heaven
And that is the end of the news.

Heigho, what a catastrophe,
Grandfather's brain is beginning to atrophy,
Last Sunday night after eating an apple
He made a rude noise in the Methodist chapel.

Good egg! Dear little Doris
Has just been expelled for assaulting Miss Morris.
Both of her sisters
Are covered in blisters
From standing about in the queues.

We've been done in
By that mortgage foreclosure
And Father went out on a blind,
He got run in
For indecent exposure
And ever so heavily fined.
Heigho hi-diddle-diddle,

Aunt Isabel's shingles have met in the middle,
She's buried in Devon
So God's in His heaven
And that is the end of the news

By Prometheus (not verified) on 04 Jan 2010 #permalink

thanks for the poem

I also have received lots of newsy holiday letters over the years and often feel they are missing the essential of the holiday that Al supplies in his poem (I will refer to him as Al to avoid further mangling his name).

For a few years we sent out Al's poem rather than a holiday letter. I figure people can call if they want to know where we traveled over the holidays.

Happy New year!