The time draws near the birth of Christ;
      The moon is hid, the night is still;
      A single church below the hill
Is pealing, folded in the mist.

A single peal of bells below,
      That wakens at this hour of rest
      A single murmur in the breast,
That these are not the bells I know.

Like strangers' voices here they sound,
      In lands where not a memory strays,
      Nor landmark breathes of other days,
But all is new unhallow'd ground.

Last modified 19 February 2010