|The Crack in the Bell
I speak of a certain bell
That was in England cast,
A treasure ours to tell,
That rang in America's past...
Inscribed on metal round,
Its words in Scripture found:
It Liberty does proclaim,
All throughout the land,
And to all who inhabit the same,
These in Leviticus stand.
In July of 1776
The bell did Independence betoken;
For fifty-nine years to follow, it rang,
Till tolling a death, the bell was broken...
Of weakness of manufacture,
Or of metal, did it fracture...
Now the bell is cracked anew
And broken more today:
From freedom astray, and morals too,
A discordant note now clangs away...
From being struck a permissive stroke,
The bell in soul is partly broke;
And through the fissure wide, the crack,
It proclaims decision with moral lack...
Our physical eye won't see it to find,
But visible 'tis to the eye of the mind...
Lo freedom properly used is not
Legalizing wrong as right,
Nor judicial thinking, inking a blot
From a quill, fallen in moral flight...
We need the metal assay,
And the bell recast today;
With virtue and character true,
With these the metal imbue
— John Riedell