Verse > Siegfried Sassoon > Counter-Attack and Other Poems

Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967).  Counter-Attack and Other Poems.  1918.

33. Joy-Bells

RING your sweet bells; but let them be farewells 
  To the green-vista’d gladness of the past 
That changed us into soldiers; swing your bells 
  To a joyful chime; but let it be the last. 
What means this metal in windy belfries hung         5
  When guns are all our need? Dissolve these bells 
Whose tones are tuned for peace: with martial tongue 
  Let them cry doom and storm the sun with shells. 
Bells are like fierce-browed prelates who proclaim 
  That ‘if our Lord returned He’d fight for us.’  10
So let our bells and bishops do the same, 
  Shoulder to shoulder with the motor-bus. 



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