Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MYSTIC CIRCLE, by ABBIE FARWELL BROWN



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THE MYSTIC CIRCLE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Eight lusty bell-ringers
Last Line: God.
Subject(s): God


EIGHT lusty bell-ringers
In the loft of the campanile;
Eight quick-eyed, firm-muscled, clean-lipped lads,
Forming a mystic circle,
Poised a-tiptoe,
Hands above heads,
Waiting.
Eight stout ropes mysteriously pending
From the unrevealing, dusty rafters.
The bells are poised for the peal,
Though they remain unseen,
Waiting.

The magic word is spoken by the leader --
"She's off!" (The unmistakable English accent.)
The treble bell gives signal first,
The racing merry scales descend.
The cue is flashed from eye to eye;
The Bob-major double,
An intricate combination of sequences,
A miracle of mathematics resolved into sound;
A psalm of joy!
While the sturdy arms pull in ordered eagerness,
And the bright eyes shine.

The Bells!
Their tongues are loosed.
The charm of the mystic circle has made them animate,
Has lifted the enchantment of silence
And given sound to their joy.
In the tower above the young men,
(So near, unseen,)
They shout till the rafters ring;
A revel of frank, untrammeled spirits,
Like innocent children with clear, full voices,
Merry, unrestrained, irresponsible.
A somersaulting group of eight,
Praises God in mirth.

Still farther above,
High in the vault of the church,
Revealed in ethereal, vibrating overtones,
Like the whirring of great wings,
The heavenly choir chanting Te Deum
Join in the song;
The Angels of the Bells,
Tender intermediaries between earth and heaven,
Breathing holy gladness, singing ineffable praise.

Above, above again,
Far above the pointed spire,
Above the seething city and the sinning world,
Above the singing in the hearts of men,
The clamor of bells, the choiring of angels --
Silence.
The eternal harmony of all sound,
The caught-up commingled praises of creation,
Blended into quiet,
The Silence that is God:
God listening; God approving; God the Father of Joy,
Blessing His angels and His bells,
Blessing the ringers with rapt faces,
Tense, devotional,
Who consummate the ritual of sound
In a religious office.

Eight young men
In a mystic circle,
Whose center is the center of the universe,
God.





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