wind flings up across the indifferent stars
scribbles of leaves from the riven trees.
moans about their caverns, frets their bars
voices of cold ruin like the sea’s.
night’s inhuman brilliance nothing tells
faith or joy or any homely thing
suddenly, from the shadowy village, bells
to music, faltering as they ring.
ringers learning their change in the church forsaken
all unknowing a parable of this night.
momentary cadences awaken
for hope, some gospel out of sight.
prayer, half truth, bright failure boldly hurled
“We try, we must” the belfry saith.
ringers, you ring the very tune of the world;
You ring a prelude to the psalm of death.
Copyright © 2008 [Fen Tyler]