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A lantern dims within the old belfry;
There are not now any bells to be rung;
And yet there sleeps a song dreaming nobly
In the silence where once three bells had swung.

Within the heart of a fair land far-flung,
Beneath stars that no longer burn brightly,
Above groves where once hyacinths had sprung,
A lantern dims within the old belfry.

There was a blazing age when reigned Beauty
And her banners on every spire were hung.
The banners fell and she was forced to flee.
There are not now any bells to be rung.

Harps of her high ministers lay unstrung,
Inert lay her fleets beneath a lost sea,
Books lay unread that once wild men had clung,
And yet there sleeps a song dreaming nobly.

A wolf in the wilderness waits ready
Amid forgotten ghosts and gusts unwrung,
And his eyes, unblinking, stare out boldly
In the silence where once three bells had swung.

Beauty remains. She is no longer young.
Her banners billow above memory,
Blown by winds that are yet to be sung,
And atop tall gates veiled by vanity,
A lantern dims.

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Published: Feb 8, 2018
Michael Shindler
Michael Shindler is a writer living in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in The American Conservative, The American Spectator, the Washington Examiner, and Townhall. Mr. Shindler is a graduate of Rutgers University, where he studied Economics and Political Science. He is also an alum of the Charles Koch Institute’s Policy Fellowship and America’s Future Foundation’s Writing Fellowship.
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3 replies to this post
  1. What a beautifully written poem, Mr. Shindler! I hope you have a long and fulfilling career in letters, and that this will be published in some kind of book form in the future. I had almost given up poetry for dead, but now I have hope that all is not lost under a pall of meaningless, uninspiring modernism; and my thanks to The Imaginative Conservative for printing it. If I ever see this kind of work published in book form, I will surely want to buy it. Bravo!

  2. Hi, I wanted to ask if you would be able to provide some meaning behind your poem. I really did enjoy reading it and would like to know what inspired you to write it and what some of the representation might be within the poem, such as the wolf. If it is up to one’s own imagination I am up to the task but was nonetheless curios what your personal inspiration was for it. Kind regards, Mike

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