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"Ring Out, Wild Bells"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: It is New Year's eve, and the poet cries to the pealing bells to proclaim the coming of a new year. He looks at the year that is ending, and at all the errors, confusions, griefs, sins, and evils it contained, and hopes that all of this injury and wrong will die with the year, and disappear from human society. His vision of the future is of extreme idealism as he considers all the potentiality for good that the human spirit contains and all its possibilities to ascend, through faith in God, to exalted planes of being.

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 in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.