Ring your sweet bells; but let them be farewells
To the green-vista’d gladness of the past
That changed us into soldiers; swing your bells
To a joyful chime; but let it be the last.
What means this metal in windy belfries hung
When guns are all our need? Dissolve these bells
Whose tones are tuned for peace: with martial tongue
Let them cry doom and storm the sun with shells.
Bells are like fierce-browed prelates who proclaim
That ‘if our Lord returned He’d fight for us.’
So let our bells and bishops do the same,
Shoulder to shoulder with the motor-bus.
–Siegfried Sassoon, Counter-Attack and Other Poems, 1918