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The Old Town Bells




The old town bells are ringing
In the hand that hallows day,
And I am standing on a step
Above the little cay

That slips beneath the fishing pier
And drops into the deep,
To which my mind
Has wandered

In its loves so long asleep

They ring from out a tower
In a park some blocks away,

And in their staid recital,
I am pleased to hear them play

I sense in them an unshed tear
That they were meant to wake,
And in a swell of sentiment,
My heart begins to break
They seem as if
A thing I dreamed

That moved me long ago

Whose purpose then
I could not guess

And value did not know

They bid me down
A path too fair,

A way too dear to dare,

For I am old and cannot risk
The beauty that is there

Yet I will share
A thought with you
That I fear to advance -

It is that though
We have but love,
We live love’s full expanse

We are the portrait and the poem,
The song that brings a tear –
The essence of a miracle,

That gives us meaning here

We are God’s fragile masterpiece,
His imagery, and art, the faithful hand
That sculpts His form in every tender heart


We are the waking of the mind,
The writing of the tome –

The looking back upon the bay,
As we are going home

Nostalgia is more than a sigh
That we gather the past:

It is the pith of our dear soul
And all it has amassed

Through each decision,
Joy, and pain

That we in wonder hear
Upon the sounding of the bells,
When God to us is near

I pass the tower on my way,
And silently it stands,
And I am mulling

How its clock is round
With moving hands

I hear the bells within myself,
I hear the bells that chime

Within my writing of these lines,
Your reading of the rhyme.

About this poem

Having Wandered the Waterfront Of a Small Southern Town, I Came to Believe That We Are the Poetry, Elicited by the Ringing of Town Bells (Southport, NC, May 6, 2015)

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Submitted by EugeneOsowski on January 14, 2022

2:02 min read
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Eugene Osowski

Retired grant writer & Schoolteacher more…

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    "The Old Town Bells" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 13 Aug. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/117700/the-old-town-bells>.

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