Blow, whistles, blow

Blow, whistles, blow
By Whittaker Chambers
December 31, 1926

Blow, whistles, blow,
Ring out, joyful bells,
Shout and caper, happy people,
You have killed him. 1
Reel, shouting, into your cars.
Where your clotted brains and ugly hands cannot be on him,
He gives you dirt for dirt.
The gentle of heart, the firm of will, is dead.
The fools, the cowards, the evil, the cunning, the low, live on.
His life is well withdrawn from such.

This is the silence of the sky
Thrown over us in congelation by the snow;
A clacker in the hands of a fool
Has shattered snow’s silence.

Ring out, glad bells,
I shall not die.
By this stone of death I lean against
I hold myself upright for life,
For as long as I seem to serve.
This order must go.
I hold no brief for any other,
But this must go.
Help me, God (if there were God),
Before I die,
In my good time or under the hands of the police,
To make of myself one tiny cell, a bacterium,
To serve the organization of love as hate,
The union of the weak to kill the evil in power,
The outrage and the hope of the world.

Fall on me, snow,
Cover me up;
Cover the houses and the streets.
Let me see only in the light of another year
The roofs and the minds that killed him,
And the earth that holds him,
Forever dead. 2


  1. “Him”: Richard Godfrey Chambers (1903-1926), younger brother of Whittaker Chambers
  2. Whittaker Chambers, Witness (New York: Random House, 1952), p. 186

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