The Bells of Shandon, Cork

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Saying good-bye is good practice for letting go and letting in. You cannot live in the past when you are always moving forward. The key is not to think too far ahead either. Enjoying life from day to day is where happiness lies. Even so, leaving Dublin was hard. It became comfortable, and a part of me wanted to stay even though I had wonderful new experiences ahead. From Dublin, I ventured to Cork and stayed in a hostel for a night. I was exhausted after a late evening of dancing and merriment with one of my hosts and his friends. I slept most of the journey, waking up occasionally to peer out the window at the passing greenery speckled with the white and brown of sheep and cattle. Once in Cork, I went for a short walk and came to the Church of St. Anne where I rang the Bells of Shandon. I was alone at the top of the bell tower looking out across Cork and taking it all in. Seeing beauty from above made me crave the strong wings of a bird. I then walked through the English Market full of fishy smells and busy bodies. I listened to my own body, tired and hungry, and ate a delicious Indian dinner of chicken korma and mango lassi and returned to the hostel to fall into a much needed deep sleep.

~

The Bells of Shandon By Rev. Francis Mahony

With deep affection and recollection, I often think of those Shandon bells. Whose sounds so wild would in days of childhood Fling ’round my cradle their magic spells; on this I ponder, where’er I wander, and then grow fonder, sweet Cork, of thee; while thy bells of Shandon sound far more grand on the pleasant waters of the river Lee.

I’ve heard bells chiming full many a clime in, tolling sublime in cathedral shrine. While at a glib rate brass tongues would vibrate. But all their music spoke naught like thine. For mem’ry dwelling on each proud swelling of thy belfry, knelling its bold notes free, made the bells of Shandon sound far more grand on the pleasant waters of the river Lee.

I’ve heard bells tolling “Old Adrian’s Mole” in, their thunders rolling from the Vatican, with cymbals glorious, swinging uproarious, in the gorgeous turrets of Notre Dame; but thy sounds are sweeter than the dome of Peter flings o’er the Tiber, pealing solemnly -Oh! the bells of Shandon sound far more grand on the pleasant waters of the river Lee.

There’s a bell in Moscow, while on tower and kiosk O! In St. Sophia the Turkman gets, and loud in air calls men to prayer, from the tap’ring summit of tall minarets; such empty phantom I freely grant them, but there’s an emblem more dear to me, ’tis the bells of Shandon that sound so grand on the pleasant waters of the river Lee.

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