Christina Rossetti: A Peal of Bells

A Peal of Bells

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.