Crystalline Delight

The poem “Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe goes from the light silver bells we associate with love and life to the heavy iron bells of a church tower announcing death. I used to tell my students that I would begin with the iron and move toward the silver so the reader would be left with a sense of hope and love. God reminded me this morning that love begins with those sweet silver bells and leads to the mellow, golden wedding bells. From there, alarms bells go off and death inevitably comes at some point. The way to love as God desires is to make the trip back from death.

I know it’s a strange image, but it’s one God knew I needed this morning. I understood perfectly and could relate completely to those bells. Love changes everything, and love itself changes on this journey. I came to a place of letting go yesterday, and God showed me that death isn’t the end when it comes to love. It is the beginning. Those iron bells weigh heavily upon my heart, but they lead to the brass bells that sound the alarm when flames arise.

The golden bells of marriage take on a new meaning when applied to God’s way of loving. He’s the patient groom who waits for me to accept  His proposal and unite in a way that allows my heart to be one with His. I’m afraid I’ve left Him waiting at the altar far too long. When I do show up occasionally, I give Him a warm embrace, tell Him how very much I love Him, and quickly get back to my busy agenda. He is left waiting, and that is a terribly lonely place for the heart to be. It hurts deeply to be left waiting, but it hurts even worse to realize I’ve made God wait.

The silver bells that come after the wedding bells remind me that loving God puts me in the Spirit. Christmas bells bring my heart back to a time of innocent love that has hope and is filled with a lightness that only pure love can bring. The love God has in mind doesn’t weight down my heart or scream about a four-alarm fire in my body. It makes my heart tinkle with a “crystalline delight.” Keeping love pure and in the Spirit isn’t easy, but I’m thinking the image of those bells tolling, clanging, swelling, and tinkling will help me keep my heart out of the graveyard and on the sleigh!. Those little silver bells make a heavenly sound when they join with other silver bells.

I
Hear the sledges with the bells-
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

II

Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And an in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

III

Hear the loud alarum bells-
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor,
Now- now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows:
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells-
Of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

IV

Hear the tolling of the bells-
Iron Bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people- ah, the people-
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All Alone
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone-
They are neither man nor woman-
They are neither brute nor human-
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A paean from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells-
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells-
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells:
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells-
Bells, bells, bells-
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

Silver-Bells

Author: Gigi

I taught middle school for 33 years and retired in 2007. I'm enjoying my journey and loving the time I have with my two little granddaughters who call me "Gigi." I want to share my journey with them and with anyone else interested in sharing the lessons God has for me on this amazing journey.

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