The Saturday Night Special: “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe (1850)

Edgar Allan Poe, circa 1849

Edgar Allan Poe, circa 1849

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 all 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 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 clamour and the clangour 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 meaning 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,
              Rolls
            A pæan from the bells!
         And his merry bosom swells
            With the pæan of the bells!
         And he dances, and he yells ;
       Keeping time, time, time,
       In a sort of Runic rhyme,
            To the pæan 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.

A Short Analysis of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’

Powerful reading:  A reading of a classic poem ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ is probably the best-known villanelle in English poetry. If you’re not sure what a villanelle is, don’t worry – it’s not importan…

Source: A Short Analysis of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’

‘I am the master of my fate’: A Short Analysis of William Ernest Henley’s ‘Invictus’

A summary of a classic poem ‘Invictus’ is a famous poem, even to those who haven’t heard of it. This is because, although the title ‘Invictus’ may mean little to some (other than, perhaps, as the t…

Source: ‘I am the master of my fate’: A Short Analysis of William Ernest Henley’s ‘Invictus’

Announcing the Advent of “The Chamber” Magazine

imageBeginning in January 1, 2017, this will be the location of a new on-line quarterly magazine for short stories, poetry, and other short works of the horror genre.  You can find the guidelines for submissions on my current Submissions and Announcements page, which will remain the same, with the only exception being that the word limit for submissions for “The Chamber” will increase from 1,000 to 2,000 words.  The deadline for submissions for issue #1 passed on December 1.  However, please feel free to submit for issue #2, which will be published on April 1.

I am creating this magazine primarily because it is not fair to my contributors to submit a work for publication, when that work will be at the top of my blog posts for only a day, and then that author and his readers will have to wade through a morass of unrelated blogs to find that one post.  To remedy this, I am creating a separate page on my blog for my new magazine, “The Chamber”, where each quarter’s selections will appear on a separate page for eternity (or until WordPress folds, or until I give it all up and wander off to buy a bar in Key West, or etc.)  Issue 2 will appear on April 1st.  Send submissions for Issue #2 per the Submissions and Announcements guidelines, but specify Submission for “The Chamber” in the subject line, if you want your work published in The Chamber, or Submission for The Blog, if you want to be published in the regular blog.  I will continue to publish submissions in my regular blog until December 31.

Why call it “The Chamber”?  The word chamber has numerous sinister and macabre connotations: a chamber of horrors, a torture chamber, one chambers a round into a rifle, etc.  A chamber can also be where a sorcerer, an alchemist, or an Inquisitor stores his library.  It is with this last connotation in mind that I am developing my Chamber for the storage of my selection of sinister and macabre works from the best up and coming authors that seek to contribute to my blog.

So, start editing your best, most powerful material and see where this new venture takes us!  I want powerful, hard-hitting material that leaves its readers gasping and awe-struck at the end.

Today is the Deadline for Submissions to Issue #1 of “The Chamber”

Beginning in January 1, 2017, this will be the location of a new on-line quarterly magazine for short stories, poetry, and other short works of the horror genre.  You can find the guidelines for submissions on my current Submissions and Announcements page, which will remain the same, with the only exception being that the word limit for submissions for “The Chamber” will increase from 1,000 to 2,000 words.  The deadline for submissions for issue #1 passes today, November 30.  However, please feel free to submit for issue #2, which will be published on April 1.

I am creating this magazine primarily because it is not fair to my contributors to submit a work for publication, when that work will be at the top of my blog posts for only a day, and then that author and his readers will have to wade through a morass of unrelated blogs to find that one post.  To remedy this, I am creating a separate page on my blog for my new magazine, “The Chamber”, where each quarter’s selections will appear on a separate page for eternity (or until WordPress folds, or until I give it all up and wander off to buy a bar in Key West, or etc.)  Issue 2 will appear on April 1st.  Send submissions for Issue #2 per the Submissions and Announcements guidelines, but specify Submission for “The Chamber” in the subject line, if you want your work published in The Chamber, or Submission for The Blog, if you want to be published in the regular blog.  I will continue to publish submissions in my regular blog until December 31.

Why call it “The Chamber”?  The word chamber has numerous sinister and macabre connotations: a chamber of horrors, a torture chamber, one chambers a round into a rifle, etc.  A chamber can also be where a sorcerer, an alchemist, or a member of the Inquisition stores his library.  It is with this last connotation in mind that I am developing my Chamber for the storage of my selection of sinister and macabre works from the best up and coming authors that seek to contribute to my blog.

So, start editing your best, most powerful material and see where this new venture takes us!  I want powerful, hard-hitting material that leaves its readers gasping and awe-struck at the end.