Friday, November 9, 2012

What the Bell-Branch Signifies

When Ella wrote of hearing Faerie music, which is well documented in a journal she kept while living in the Wicklow Mountains, she mentioned the bells as one of the instruments she could discern. So, I've been exploring the concept of the Bell-Branch - quite literally a branch on which is fastened small bells. 

To harken...To bring summon...

When I was a child we always hung bells on our Christmas tree and on the stroke of midnight my father opened the front door and my brother and I would each hold a length of sleigh bells (metal bells embedded in thick red vinyl) and shake them and shake them. 


To harken...To bring summon...

I love this poem by a contemporary of Ella's in Ireland:
by James Henry Cousins (1873-1956)
 Shoheen, sho-lo : 
Birds are homeward winging. 
Shoheen, sho-lo : 
Herdsmen on the hills are singing :
 " Short the night, and long the day, — 
Come, ye weary flocks, away : 
Folded in deep shadows drowse, 
And on long sweet grasses browse 
Where the murmuring waters flow.
" Shoheen, sho-lo : 
Hark, the Bell-branch ringing. Shoheen, sho-lo : 
Dannans from the hills are singing : 
" Time is old, and earth is gray, — Come, ye weary ones, away, 
Where, with white, untroubled brows
 The Immortals dream and drowse, 
And the streams of quiet flow"

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