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  Ring Out, Ye Bells  


    Ring out, ye bells!
    All Nature swells
With gladness at the wondrous story,--
    The world was lorn,
    But Christ is born
To change our sadness into glory.

    Sing, earthlings, sing!
    To-night a King
Hath come from heaven's high throne to bless us.
    The outstretched hand
    O'er all the land
Is raised in pity to caress us.

    Come at his call;
    Be joyful all;
Away with mourning and with sadness!
    The heavenly choir
    With holy fire
Their voices raise in songs of gladness.

    The darkness breaks
    And Dawn awakes,
Her cheeks suffused with youthful blushes.
    The rocks and stones
    In holy tones
Are singing sweeter than the thrushes.

    Then why should we
    In silence be,
When Nature lends her voice to praises;
    When heaven and earth
    Proclaim the truth
Of Him for whom that lone star blazes?

    No, be not still,
    But with a will
Strike all your harps and set them ringing;
    On hill and heath
    Let every breath
Throw all its power into singing!

       - Paul Laurence Dunbar

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