Ring out the false, ring in the true

Church bells in Mykonos, Greece 2008

Church bells in Mykonos, Greece 2008

Verses from In Memoriam A.H.H. by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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 out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

There is not much I can add to Lord Tennyson’s eloquence.  May 2013 bring you renewed hope, deep joy, and the peace that passes understanding.


  1. Blogs often present a strange juxtaposition. Here is presented a poetic lament over the death of Arthur Henry Hallum, presented by a famous poet, struggling with the emergence of “evolution” as taught by a third colleague – Charles Darwin- whose views proved to be quite godless. And, at the end of the blog post is a comforting phrase from Philippians 4:7.
    This dichotomy of thought is not unlike the painful quandary Tenneyson revealed in a poem included in many hymnals. “Crossing the Bar” goes from the line “… when that which drew from out the boundless deep, turns again home, turns home” to the touching final line:
    “I hope to see my pilot face to face, when I have crossed the bar”. May 2013 find each of us resolute in our faith – not wavering between two poles.

    • Eric, you might want to read the entire poem – it is quite long, but I believe it is available at the link. The part about the bells ringing in the New Year is probably the most famous part of the poem. Though written long ago, it reflects concerns that are apparently timeless.

  2. speechless 2 in His Presence. (praying w/o ceasing for ALL)

    • Thank you! Prayers are the most appropriate way to begin this year, and our family (as well as our country and our world) really need them right now.

  3. mary ng

    Thanks Julia and blessed new year!

    Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 08:16:16 +0000 To: maryng64@hotmail.com

  4. I haven’t read much Tennyson and have never read this poem. It is very good. As the news of the looming fiscal cliff plays in the background, I echo Tennyson’s sentiments –

    “Ring out a slowly dying cause,
    And ancient forms of party strife;
    Ring in the nobler modes of life,
    With sweeter manners, purer laws.”

    May it be so.

    • Isn’t it amazing how well these words, written so long ago, capture the concerns of NOW? Some words are indeed timeless.

  5. Good Post.
    May This Year Be The Best Of All Previous Years !!!

    • Thank you! I echo your wishes for the New Year. Thanks for being with us here.

  6. Picture perfect!

    • Thank you Bette!


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