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.

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

All comments are moderated and must be civil, concise, and constructive to the conversation. Comments that are critical of an essay may be approved, but comments containing ad hominem criticism of the author will not be published. Also, comments containing web links or block quotations are unlikely to be approved. Keep in mind that essays represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Imaginative Conservative or its editor or publisher.

Leave a Comment
Print Friendly, PDF & Email