"The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe

This poem by Edgar Allan Poe is notable for its masterful use of sound effects, including onomatopoeia, alliteration, and assonance.
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Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. runic
    relating to characters from an ancient alphabet
    Keeping time, time, time,
    In a sort of Runic rhyme,
    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
    From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
    Bells, bells, bells—
    From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
  2. tintinnabulation
    the sound of a bell ringing
    Keeping time, time, time,
    In a sort of Runic rhyme,
    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
    From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
    Bells, bells, bells—
    From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
  3. balmy
    mild and pleasant
    Through the balmy air of night
    How they ring out their delight!
  4. ditty
    a short simple song
    From the molten-golden notes,
    And all in tune,
    What a liquid ditty floats
    To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
    On the moon!
  5. gloat
    dwell on with satisfaction
    From the molten-golden notes,
    And all in tune,
    What a liquid ditty floats
    To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
    On the moon!
  6. euphony
    any pleasing and harmonious sounds
    Oh, from out the sounding cells,
    What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
  7. voluminous
    large in number or quantity
    Oh, from out the sounding cells,
    What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
  8. rapture
    a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
    How it dwells
    On the Future! how it tells
    Of the rapture that impels
    To the swinging and the ringing
    Of the bells, bells, bells
  9. impel
    urge or force to an action; constrain or motivate
    How it dwells
    On the Future! how it tells
    Of the rapture that impels
    To the swinging and the ringing
    Of the bells, bells, bells
  10. turbulence
    a state of violent disturbance and disorder
    What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
  11. clamorous
    conspicuously and offensively loud
    They can only shriek, shriek,
    Out of tune,
    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
    Leaping higher, higher, higher,
    With a desperate desire,
    And a resolute endeavor
    Now—now to sit or never,
    By the side of the pale-faced moon.
  12. expostulation
    an exclamation of protest, opposition, or criticism
    They can only shriek, shriek,
    Out of tune,
    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
    Leaping higher, higher, higher,
    With a desperate desire,
    And a resolute endeavor
    Now—now to sit or never,
    By the side of the pale-faced moon.
  13. resolute
    firm in purpose or belief
    They can only shriek, shriek,
    Out of tune,
    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
    Leaping higher, higher, higher,
    With a desperate desire,
    And a resolute endeavor
    Now—now to sit or never,
    By the side of the pale-faced moon.
  14. endeavor
    a purposeful or industrious undertaking
    They can only shriek, shriek,
    Out of tune,
    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
    Leaping higher, higher, higher,
    With a desperate desire,
    And a resolute endeavor
    Now—now to sit or never,
    By the side of the pale-faced moon.
  15. palpitate
    beat rapidly
    What a horror they outpour
    On the bosom of the palpitating air!
  16. ebb
    fall away or decline
    Yet the ear it fully knows,
    By the twanging,
    And the clanging,
    How the danger ebbs and flows
  17. clangor
    a loud resonant repeating noise
    How the danger sinks and swells,
    By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells—
    Of the bells—
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
    Bells, bells, bells—
    In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!
  18. toll
    ring slowly
    Hear the tolling of the bells—
    Iron bells!
  19. solemn
    dignified and somber in manner or character
    What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
  20. melancholy
    a feeling of thoughtful sadness
    In the silence of the night,
    How we shiver with affright
    At the melancholy menace of their tone!
  21. menace
    something that is a source of danger
    In the silence of the night,
    How we shiver with affright
    At the melancholy menace of their tone!
  22. steeple
    a tall tower that forms the superstructure of a building
    And the people—ah, the people—
    They that dwell up in the steeple,
    All alone,
    And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
    In that muffled monotone,
    Feel a glory in so rolling
    On the human heart a stone
  23. monotone
    an unchanging intonation
    And the people—ah, the people—
    They that dwell up in the steeple,
    All alone,
    And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
    In that muffled monotone,
    Feel a glory in so rolling
    On the human heart a stone
  24. paean
    a hymn of praise
    A paean from the bells !
    And his merry bosom swells
    With the paean of the bells!
  25. knell
    the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death
    Keeping time, time, time,
    As he knells, knells, knells,
    In a happy Runic rhyme,
    To the rolling of the bells —
    Of the bells, bells, bells
Created on September 17, 2019 (updated September 17, 2019)

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