The bells of Christendom, now long gone,
once rang throughout the West.
Laudo Deum verum, they tolled,
and all who heard were blessed.
They knelled sad news of every death
and lauded every birth
and marked at quarter hours each day
the turning of the earth.
But all the bells of Christendom
are fallen mute and dumb:
Where are the Sabbath summons, now?
The public calls to come
and worship Christ the risen king?
Where, now, their glad refrain?
Where Benedictus Dominus?
Where Oremus proclaim?
The dormant bells of Christendom
wait silent for that day
when the church, like bantys at the dawn,
cock-crows all men awake.
But who will steal to soundless steeples?
Who pull the bellman’s rope?
Where are the men to set the world
a-ring with sounding hope?
Let’s toll one bell for Christendom —
ring one, at least, again!
Then Tailor Paul will clap his tongue,
and with his full amen
lay low the powers of the air.
He’ll drive the storms away.
He’ll gong the gospel — Christ is won! —
and keep the fiend at bay.
Do you hear the bells of Christendom?
Listen to their knell!
Though still an echo on the wind,
they sound a rising swell
’til, from steeples and from belfries,
their peals will fill the sky.
Yes, we’ll hear the bells of Christendom
resound before we die.
© 2022 Josh Bishop