The bells, the bells,

not Quasimodo’s old Dame,
St Patrick’s on a Sunday morning,
the bell ringers gather,
 to chime and clang,
layer upon layer,
a resounding Dublin breakfast
for a city waking
to repent the night’s excesses.
What joy, what horror,
shut the bleeding window,
have they no respect
for the self afflicted?
Bellicose bubbling boings,
a clangour resonating
in an inner ear
 of repentant pain.
No ding, no dong,
a cacophonous clamour,
no soothing chime,
but crash and clash,
awake now, repent,
sing out, don’t shout,
they take their toll,
a cup of tea,
then a quiet stroll.
And then, on cue,
the bell ringing crew
of her sister cathedral,
Christchurch, you scream,
like competing gunfighters
in a noontime throw down,
joins the tumult,
no rest for the wicked,
taking liberties.
On the eve of a millennium,
you climbed those steps,
on Christmas eve,
jobless and penniless,
to give a priceless gift
to a wealthy friend.
Sing out, sweet bells,
harbinger of time
for generations.

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