The Mission Bells of Monterey

A poem by Francis Bret Harte

O bells that rang, O bells that sang
Above the martyrs’ wilderness,
Till from that reddened coast-line sprang
The Gospel seed to cheer and bless,
What are your garnered sheaves to-day?
O Mission bells! Eleison bells!
O Mission bells of Monterey!

O bells that crash, O bells that clash
Above the chimney-crowded plain,
On wall and tower your voices dash,
But never with the old refrain;
In mart and temple gone astray!
Ye dangle bells! Ye jangle bells!
Ye wrangle bells of Monterey!

O bells that die, so far, so nigh,
Come back once more across the sea;
Not with the zealot’s furious cry,
Not with the creed’s austerity;
Come with His love alone to stay,
O Mission bells! Eleison bells!
O Mission bells of Monterey!

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