Bells are simple sound-making devices. The form of a bell is usually a hollow, cup-shaped object, which resonates upon being struck. The striking implement can be a tongue suspended within the bell, known as a clapper, a small, free sphere enclosed within the body of the bell or a separate mallet or hammer.
- How sweet on the breeze of the evening swells
The vesper call of those soothing bells,
Borne softly and dying in echoes away,
Like a requiem sung to the parting day.
- Letitia Elizabeth Landon, The London Literary Gazette (22nd September 1821) Bells
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 67-69.
- Hark! the bonny Christ-Church bells,
One, two, three, four, five, six;
They sound so woundy great,
So wound'rous sweet,
And they troul so merrily.
- Dean Aldrich, Hark the Merry Christ-Church Bells.
- That all-softening, overpowering knell,
The tocsin of the soul—the dinner bell.
- How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet; now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
With easy force it opens all the cells
Where Memory slept.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book VI, line 6.
- The church-going bell.
- William Cowper, verses supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk.
- The vesper bell from far
That seems to mourn for the expiring day.
- Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio (early 14th century), Canto 8, line 6. Cary's translation.
- Your voices break and falter in the darkness,—
Break, falter, and are still.
- Bret Harte, The Angelus.
- Bells call others, but themselves enter not into the Church.
- George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651).
- Dear bells! how sweet the sound of village bells
When on the undulating air they swim!
- Thomas Hood, Ode to Rae Wilson.
- While the steeples are loud in their joy,
To the tune of the bells' ring-a-ding,
Let us chime in a peal, one and all,
For we all should be able to sing Hullah baloo.
- Thomas Hood, Song for the Million.
- The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,
The ringers ran by two, by three;
"Pull, if ye never pulled before;
Good ringers, pull your best," quoth he.
"Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells!
Ply all your changes, all your swells,
Play uppe The Brides of Enderby."
- Jean Ingelow, High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire.
- I call the Living—I mourn the Dead—
I break the Lightning.
- Inscribed on the Great Bell of the Minster of Schaffhausen; also on that of the Church of Art, near Lucerne.
- The cheerful Sabbath bells, wherever heard,
Strike pleasant on the sense, most like the voice
Of one, who from the far-off hills proclaims
Tidings of good to Zion.
- Charles Lamb, The Sabbath Bells.
- For bells are the voice of the church;
They have tones that touch and search
The hearts of young and old.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bells of San Blas.
- Seize the loud, vociferous bells, and
Clashing, clanging to the pavement
Hurl them from their windy tower!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus, The Golden Legend (1872), Prologue.
- These bells have been anointed,
And baptized with holy water!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus, The Golden Legend (1872), Prologue.
- He heard the convent bell,
Suddenly in the silence ringing
For the service of noonday.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus, The Golden Legend (1872), Part II.
- The bells themselves are the best of preachers,
Their brazen lips are learned teachers,
From their pulpits of stone, in the upper air,
Sounding aloft, without crack or flaw,
Shriller than trumpets under the Law,
Now a sermon and now a prayer.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus, The Golden Legend (1872), Part III.
- Bell, thou soundest merrily,
When the bridal party
To the church doth hie!
Bell, thou soundest solemnly,
When, on Sabbath morning,
Fields deserted lie!
- It cometh into court and pleads the cause
Of creatures dumb and unknown to the laws;
And this shall make, in every Christian clime,
The bell of Atri famous for all time.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863-1874), The Sicilian's Tale, The Bell of Atri.
& Those evening bells! those evening bells!
How many a tale their music tells!
- Thomas Moore, Those Evening Bells.
- Nunquam ædepol temere tinniit tintinnabulum;
Nisi quis illud tractat aut movet, mutum est, tacet.
- The Bell never rings of itself; unless some one handles or moves it it is dumb.
- Plautus, Trinummus, IV, 2, 162.
- Hear the sledges with the bells,
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night,
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the Heavens seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
From the jingling and the tingling of the bells.
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Bells, Stanza 1.
- Hear the mellow wedding bells,
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten golden notes,
And all in tune
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens while she gloats
On the moon!
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Bells, Stanza 2.
- With deep affection
I often think of
Those Shandon bells,
Whose sounds so wild would,
In the days of childhood,
Fling round my cradle
Their magic spells.
- Father Prout (Francis Mahony), The Bells of Shandon.
- And the Sabbath bell,
That over wood and wild and mountain dell
Wanders so far, chasing all thoughts unholy
With sounds most musical, most melancholy.
- Samuel Rogers, Human Life, line 517.
- And this be the vocation fit,
For which the founder fashioned it:
High, high above earth's life, earth's labor
E'en to the heaven's blue vault to soar.
To hover as the thunder's neighbor,
The very firmament explore.
To be a voice as from above
Like yonder stars so bright and clear,
That praise their Maker as they move,
And usher in the circling year.
Tun'd be its metal mouth alone
To things eternal and sublime.
And as the swift wing'd hours speed on
May it record the flight of time!
- Friedrich Schiller, Song of the Bell, E. A. Bowring's translation.
- Around, around,
Companions all, take your ground,
And name the bell with joy profound!
CONCORDIA is the word we've found
Most meet to express the harmonious sound,
That calls to those in friendship bound.
- Friedrich Schiller, Song of the Bell.
- Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh.
- Then get thee gone and dig my grave thyself,
And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear
That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
- Hark, how chimes the passing bell!
There's no music to a knell;
All the other sounds we hear,
Flatter, and but cheat our ear.
This doth put us still in mind
That our flesh must be resigned,
And, a general silence made,
The world be muffled in a shade.
[Orpheus' lute, as poets tell,
Was but moral of this bell,
And the captive soul was she,
Which they called Eurydice,
Rescued by our holy groan,
A loud echo to this tone.]
- James Shirley, The Passing Bell.
- Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land;
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
- Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
- Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow.
- Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light.
- Softly the loud peal dies,
In passing winds it drowns,
But breathes, like perfect joys,
- Frederick Tennyson, The Bridal.
- Curfew must not ring to-night.
- Rosa H. Thorpe, title of poem.
- How like the leper, with his own sad cry
Enforcing his own solitude, it tolls!
That lonely bell set in the rushing shoals,
To warn us from the place of jeopardy!
- Charles Tennyson Turner, The Buoy Bell.