640 THE BELL-DEEP
nun right well, and he thought of her, and his heart beat quicker as he thought. Ding-dong ! ding-dong ! '
Yes, that is how the Bell told the story.
' Into the tower came also the silly man-servant of the bishop ; and when I, the Bell, who am made of metal, rang hard and loud, and swung to and fro, I might have beaten out his brains. He sat down close under me, and played with two little sticks as if they had been a stringed instrument; and he sang to it. "Now I may sing it out aloud, though at other times I may not whisper it. I may sing of everything that is kept concealed behind lock and bars. There it is cold and wet. The rats are eating them up alive ! Nobody knows of it! Nobody hears of it ! Not even now, for the Bell is ringing and singing its loud Ding-dong ! ding-dong ! "
' There was a King ; they called him Canute. He bowed himself before bishop and monk ; but when he offended the free peasants with heavy taxes and hard words, they seized their wea-pons and put him to flight like a wild beast. He sought shelter in the church, and shut gate and door behind him. The violent band surrounded the church ; I heard tell of it. The crows, ravens, and magpies started up in terror at the yelling and shouting that sounded around. They flew into the tower and out again, they looked down upon the throng below, and they also looked into the windows of the church, and screamed out aloud what thej^ saw there. King Canute knelt before the altar in prayer, his brothers Eric and Benedict stood by him as a guard with drawn swords ; but the King's servant, the treacherous Blake, betrayed his master; the throng in front of the church knew where they could hit the King, and one of them flung a stone through a pane of glass, and the King lay there dead! The cries and screams of the savage horde and of the birds sounded through the air, and I joined in it also ; for I sang " Ding-dong ! ding-dong ! "
' The church bell hangs high and looks far around, gets visits from the birds and understands their language ; the wind roars in upon it through windows and loopholes ; and the wind knows everything, for he gets it from the air, which encircles all living things ; the air makes its way into men's lungs, it knows everything that finds utterance