Ring out, wild bells

In Memoriam,
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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In Sweden, one of the best actors in the country gets chosen to read this (translated) poem on live TV the first seconds after the stroke of twelve.

Near Lappland, on the border between Sweden and Finland people celebrate in a more pragmatic way. People along the border river treat the border as irrelevant and Finland has a different time zone. Near midnight, people from the Swedish side walk on the ice to their friends on the Finn side and celebrate (presumably with much use of Absolut vodka). Then people walk over to the Swedish side and celebrate again, as the new year arrives to West European Time.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 01 Jan 2012 #permalink

When people say It is better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all, I point out that is from Tennyson's poem, and that it was more of a question, and the answer was I'd rather not have loved at all (IIRC). I'm frequently called a kill-joy or fun-sucker. Not sure why.

In fairness to Tennyson, later in his very long poem, he did recant that statement somewhat as he worked through his grief (again, IIRC--been a few years now).

By Daniel J. Andrews (not verified) on 01 Jan 2012 #permalink

Thanks for the stories about Tennyson and the laplanders
I lived up north and though never heard about this tradition, I can imagine it

Skating at midnight to celebrate with neighbors - what a fantastic way to ring in the new year

Yes

By transferpresse… (not verified) on 02 Mar 2013 #permalink