Claremont Insider: The Ghoul That Stole the Fourth of July

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Ghoul That Stole the Fourth of July

Proclaim Liberty throughout All the Land
unto All the Inhabitants thereof*

If you want to have a festive Fourth in Claremont this year, you'd best hang on to the red, white and blue Robin Haulman brochures and flyers coming your way. We reproduce one, right, so you can at least have something to wave around in Claremont on the Fourth of July.

It seems as if Robin Haulman came out against Claremont's celebration of the Fourth at the Active Claremont candidates forum. This caused enough consternation in town that Charles Gale, this year's Chair of the Fourth of July Celebration, saw fit to come to the City Council a few days ago and bemoan becoming a political football (see the 2:39:25 mark of the video here).

If Robin H. is elected to Council and has her way, the brazen proclamatory peals, bright sparklers, and crackling fireworks of the traditional Fourth will be replaced by the flat claps of Edgar Allan Poe's iron bells**:
Hear the tolling of the bells-
Iron Bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
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-
They are neither man nor woman-
They are neither brute nor human-
They are Ghouls:
And their queen it is who tolls;
And she rolls, rolls, rolls,
A paean from the bells!
And her merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And she dances, and she yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells-
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells-
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As she knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells:
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells-
Bells, bells, bells-
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

"A glory in so rolling on the human heart a stone..."

* * * * *
*Leviticus 25:10
**Apologies to Poe for gender-shifting his ghoul king