The Liberty Bell
Written by: Anonymous
Written by: Anonymous
There was tumult in the city,
In the quaint old Quaker town,
And the streets were rife with people,
Pacing restless up and down,
People gathering at corners,
Where they whispered, each to each,
And the sweat stood on their temples,
With the earnestness of speech.
As the bleak Atlantic currents
Lash the wild Newfoundland shore,
So they beat against the State House,
So they surged against the door;
And the mingling of their voices
Made a harmony profound,
Till the quiet street of Chestnut
Was all turbulent with sound.
“Will they do it?”-”Dare they do it?”
“Who is speaking?”-”What’s the news?”
“What of Adams?”-”What of Sherman?”
“Oh, God grant they won’t refuse!”
Aloft in that high steeple
Sat the bellman, old and gray;
He was weary of the tyrant
And his iron-sceptered sway;
So he sat with one hand ready
On the clapper of the bell,
When his eye should catch the signal,
Very happy news to tell.
See! see! the dense crowd quivers
Through all its lengthy line,
As the boy beside the portal
Looks forth to give the sign.
With his small hands upward lifted, Breezes dallying with his hair,
Hark! with deep, clear intonation,
Breaks his young voice on the air.
Hushed the people’s swelling murmur, List the boy’s strong, joyous cry-
“Ring!” he shouts aloud, “Ring, Grandpa!
Ring! Oh, ring for Liberty!”
And, straightway, at the signal,
The old bellman lifts his hand,
And sends the good news, making
Iron music through the land.
How they shouted! What rejoicing!
How the old well shook the air,
Till the clang of Freedom ruffled
The clam, gliding Delaware!
How the bonfires and the torches
Illumed the night’s repose!
And from the flames, like Phoenix,
Fair Liberty arose!
That old bell now is silent,
And hushed its iron tongue,
But the spirit is awakened
Still lives-forever young.
And, while we greet the sunlight,
On the fourth of each July,
We’ll ne’er forget the bellman
Who, ‘twixt the earth and sky,
Rung out Our Independence;
Which, please God, shall never die!
This is one of my favorite poems, if not my favorite. I like the way it rhymes so much better than most poems and how good it makes everything sound.