Oh bells of Easter morn, oh solemn sounding bells,
Which fill the hollow cells
Of the blue April air with a most sweet refrain,
Ye fill my heart with pain.
For when, as from a thousand holy altar-fires,
A thousand resonant spires
Sent up the offering--the glad thanksgiving strain--
"The Lord is risen again!"
He went from us who shall return no more, no more!
I say the sad words o'er,
And they are mixed and blent with your triumphant psalm,
Like bitterness and balm,
We stood with him beside the black and silent river,
Cold, cold and soundless ever;
But there our feet were stayed--unloosed our clasping fond,
And he has passed beyond.
And still that solemn hymn, like smoke of sacrifice,
Clomb the blue April skies,
And on our anguish placed its sacramental chrism,
"Behold, the Lord is risen!"
Oh, bells of Easter morn! your mighty voices reach
A deeper depth than speech;
We heard, "Because He liveth they shall live with Him;"
This was our Easter hymn.
And while the slow vibrations swell, and sink, and cease,
They bring divinest peace,
For we commit our best beloved to the dust,
In sure and certain trust.