The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Cornish Bells

Alternate Title: O Merry Ring The Christmas Bells

Words: Bishop C. W. Stubbs

Music: T. Tertius Noble
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Carol 544, Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New
(Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

1. O merry ring the Christmas bells across the western land,
From Launceston Town to Michael’s Mount, from Bude to Sennen sand,
The joyous echo sweeps along far spaces by the sea,
And church bells answer church bells with their “Gloria Domine!”
O Cornish bells ring far, ring free,
Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine!”

2. High o’er the ridge of Bodmin moor, Grey Towtor keepeth guard,
His age long crown of granite crag by wind and storm is scarred;
But here, as once in Bethlehem, the Christmas stars shine bright,
And moorland men are wending far to church on Christmas night.
O Bodmin bells ring far, ring free,
Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine!”

3. O hark the bells of Liskeard, how they call the bells of Looe,
St. Winnow and Boconnoc and Lansallos and Dulce,
Till all the upland pulses with the glorious hymn of joy,
As Talland calls to Lanreath and Lanteglos answers Fowey.
O Liskeard bells ring far, ring free,
Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine!”

4. Ring gladsome bells, ring pealing bells, from Falmouth harbour wide
To where St. Mary’s Minister stands above the Truro tide.
Ring Christmas bells of Roseland, in your maddest, merriest glee
From Probus to Penkevil, from Lamorran to the sea.
O Truro bells ring far, ring free,
Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine!”

5. As by the mystic star of old the Magian kings were led,
To homing boats, on Christmas eve, by lights of Lizard Head,
And fisher lads, safe home at last from perils of the sea.
Give incense of brave hearts to greet their Lord’s epiphany.
O Keverne bells ring far, ring free,
Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine!”

6. Round dark Tintagel’s castled crag, round Gurnard’s Titan keep,
The long Atlantic rollers boom their organ music deep,
And Buryan bells, o’er land and sea, their Christmas message bear,
To where the draming Scillies sleep in moon-enchanged air.
O Buryano bells ring far, ring free,
Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine!”

7. O magic moon! O mystic stars! O music of the night!
Your “Gloria in excelsis!” sing! O praise Him in the height!
“On earth be peace, ring one and all! Come, sweep the hymn along!
Ring Cornish bells o’er land and sea,
Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine!”

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Sheet Music from Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

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