The Sleigh-Bells

By Susanna Moodie 1803–1885 Susanna Moodie
’Tis merry to hear, at evening time,
By the blazing hearth the sleigh-bells chime;
To know the bounding steeds bring near
The loved one to our bosoms dear.
Ah, lightly we spring the fire to raise,
Till the rafters glow with the ruddy blaze;
Those merry sleigh-bells, our hearts keep time
Responsive to their fairy chime.
Ding-dong, ding-dong, o’er vale and hill,
Their welcome notes are trembling still.

’Tis he, and blithely the gay bells sound,
As his sleigh glides over the frozen ground;
Hark! He has pass’d the dark pine wood,
He crosses now the ice-bound flood,
And hails the light at the open door
That tells his toilsome journey’s o’er.
The merry sleigh-bells! My fond heart swells
And trobs to hear the welcome bells;
Ding-dong, ding-dong, o’er ice and snow,
A voice of gladness, on they go.

Our hut is small, and rude our cheer,
But love has spread the banquet here;
And childhood springs to be caress’d
By our beloved and welcome guest.
With a smiling brow his tale he tells,
The urchins ring the merry sleigh-bells;
The merry sleigh-bells, with shout and song
They drag the noisy string along;
Ding-dong, ding-dong, the father’s come
The gay bells ring his welcome home.

From the cedar swamp the gaunt wolves howl,
From the oak loud whoops the felon owl;
The snow-storm sweeps in thunder past,
The forest creaks beneath the blast;
No more I list, with boding fear,
The sleigh-bells distant chime to hear.
The merry sleigh-bells with soothing power
Shed gladness on the evening hour.
Ding-dong, ding-dong, what rapture swells
The music of those joyous bells!

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Poet Susanna Moodie 1803–1885

POET’S REGION Canada

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Nature, Home Life, Relationships, Winter, Activities, Travels & Journeys

Poetic Terms Couplet

Biography

Susanna Moodie's importance in Canadian literary history derives partly from her prominence as a contributor to the Literary Garland, the most successful literary periodical in the British North American provinces in the mid nineteenth century, but mostly from the quality of her classic settlement narrative Roughing It in the Bush (1852) and its first sequel, Life in the Clearings (1853). The former work in particular has . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Home Life, Relationships, Winter, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION Canada

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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