poetry anthology   |   writings   |   weed's home page

Bob Dylan  (1941-)

The Chimes Of Freedom

Far past sundown's finish and midnight's broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder flashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seemin' to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warrior, whose strength is not too fight
Flashing for the refugee, on the unarmed route of flight
An' for each an' ev'ry underdog soldier in the night
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

In the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden, while the walls were tightening
As the echoes of the wedding bells before the blowin' rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned and forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burning constantly at stake
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky hurled its poems in naked wonder
That the echoes of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leavin' only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the minds
And the poet and the painter, far beyond his rightful time
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the wild cathedral evening, the rain unravelled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken for granted situations
Tolling for the deaf and blind, tolling for the mute
For the mistreated mateless mother, the mis-titled prostitute
For the misdemeanour outlaw, chained and cheated by pursuit
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Even though a cloud's white curtain in a far off corner flashed
And the hypnotic splattering mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows aimed but for the ones
Condemned to drift, or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones on their speechless seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
And for each unharmful gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Starry-eyed and laughing, as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time, and we watched with one last look
Spellbound and swallowed 'till the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds can not be nursed
For the countless, confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones and worse  
An' for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Bob Dylan - photo by Sandy Speiser

poetry anthology   |   writings   |   weed's home page

photo by Sandy Speiser from album cover of "Another Side of Bob Dylan", UK CBS BPG 62429 (1964)
comments to weed@wussu.com
revised 8 August 2006
URL http://www.wussu.com/poems/bdtcof.htm