browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

The Nine Tailors

The page numbers are from the Harcourt, Brace & World edition of “The Nine Tailors,” copyright 1934 by Dorothy Leigh Sayers Fleming, renewed 1962 by Lloyds Bank Limited.

ARTICLE NOTE: Readers interested in the science of bell-ringing should check out “The Science of Mysteries: For Whom the Bells Toll” by Jennifer Ouellett.

A Short Touch of Kent Treble Bob Major

The First Course

4 ~ I bet that when Kingsley welcomed the wild northeaster he was sitting indoors by a good fire, eating muffins.

Charles Kingsley wrote “Ode to the Northeast Wind”

Welcome, wild Northeaster!
Shame it is to see
Odes to every zephyr;
Ne’er a verse to thee.
Welcome, black Northeastr!
O’er the German foam;
O’er the Danish moorlands,
From thy frozen home.
Tired are we of summer,
Tired of gaudy glare,
Showers soft and steaming,
Hot and breathless air.
Tired of listless dreaming,
Through the lazy day
Jovial wind of winter
Turn us out to play!
Sweep the golden reed beds;
Crisp the lazy dike;
Hunger into madness
Every plunging pike.
Fill the lake with wild fowl;
Fill the marsh with snipe;
While on dreary moorlands
Lonely curlew pipe.
Through the black fir forest
Thunder harsh and dry,
Shattering down the snowflakes
Off the curdled sky.

Hark! The brave Northeaster!
Breast high lies the scent,
On by holt and headland,
Over heath and bent.
Chime, ye dappled darlings,
Through the sleet and snow.
Who can override you?
Let the horses go!
Chime, ye dappled darlings,
Down the roaring blast;
You shall see a fox die
Ere an hour be past.
Go! and rest tomorrow,
Hunting in your dreams,
While our skates are ringing
O’er the frozen streams.
Let the luscious Southwind
Breathe in lovers’ sighs,
While the lazy gallants
Bask in ladies’ eyes.
What does he but soften
Heart alike and pen?
‘Tis the hard gray weather
Breeds hard English men.
What’s the soft Southwester?
‘Tis the ladies’ breeze,
Bringing home their trueloves
Out of all the seas.
But the black Northeaster,
Through the snowstorm hurled,
Drives our English hearts of oak
Seaward round the world.
Come, as came our fathers,
Heralded by thee,
Conquering from the eastward,
Lords by land and sea.
Come; and strong, within us
Stir the Vikings’ blood;
Bracing brain and sinew;
Blow, thou wind of God!

6 ~ Gospel of Nicodemus

A book written about the fourth century that deals with Christ’s resurrection and his descent into Hades. The complete text can be found here