Summond by Bells


‘Twas twenty years ago I hear some say,
That silence fell one day in May,
As Stanton’s bells stopped sounding out with zeal,
Their call to prayer, from age'ed five bell peal.

As weeks went by, some thought they heard the call,
The tunes being fresh within their heads and all,
But wind and bird song merely floated on the air,
As clock ticked on, and thoughts, as will, began to turn to prayer.

The weeks, then months, then years marched by,
And silence reigned, and bells forgot,
Some thought the bells had fallen from repair,
While new arrivals knew not bells were ever there.

For twenty years the silence ruled.
Then unto us a vicar came,
From aerospace, some people said,
She acted as a spearhead,
To overturn the buried past,
To resurrect the bells at last,
To see them checked and find a team,
To ring the silenced peal again.

With faltering steps the ringers learned,
To tame the swinging weights, not spurn,
The effort that they must put in,
To make some music, not a din.

But numbers soon became the fault,
To keep a team too difficult,
With other duties to perform,
The little band was oft too few.

Sometimes mere four,
Sometimes much less,
The peal was often in distress.
What’s needed, ringers quickly said,
Was, “More of us. Some time to rest.”

And thus we ringers, ringing now,
Ask villagers to take a bow,
To step up to the line and join,
The ringers who maintain the chime,
That all may do a little less,

For those who do, we say, “God bless.”


© John Stephen Battye 2009