A Peal Of Bells

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Strike the bells wantonly,
 Tinkle tinkle well;
Bring me wine, bring me flowers,
 Ring the silver bell.
All my lamps burn scented oil,
 Hung on laden orange-trees,
Whose shadowed foliage is the foil
 To golden lamps and oranges.
Heap my golden plates with fruit,
 Golden fruit, fresh-plucked and ripe;
 Strike the bells and breathe the pipe;
Shut out showers from summer hours—
Silence that complaining lute—
 Shut out thinking, shut out pain,
 From hours that cannot come again.

Strike the bells solemnly,
 Ding dong deep:
My friend is passing to his bed,
 Fast asleep;
There's plaited linen round his head,
 While foremost go his feet—
His feet that cannot carry him.
My feast's a show, my lights are dim;
 Be still, your music is not sweet,—
There is no music more for him:
 His lights are out, his feast is done;
His bowl that sparkled to the brim
Is drained, is broken, cannot hold;
My blood is chill, his blood is cold;
 His death is full, and mine begun.

© Christina Georgina Rossetti