The Bell.

A poem by Walter R. Cassels

Through the calm and silent air
Floats the tolling funeral bell,
Swooning over hill and dell,
Heavy laden with despair;
Mute between each muffled stroke,
Sad as though a dead voice spoke,
Out of the dim Past time spoke,
Stands my heart all mute with care.

The Bell is tolling on, and deep,
Deep and drear into my heart
All its bitter accents dart.
Peace! sad chime, I will not weep--
What is there within thy tone,
That should wring my heart alone,
Rive it with this endless moan?
Peace! and let past sorrows sleep!

Fling your music on the breeze,
Mock the sighing of the willows,
Mock the lapping of the billows,
Mock not human sympathies;
Slow chime, sad chime, mock me not,
With that loved voice ne'er forgot,
Flooding me with tears blood-hot;
Mock not soul-deep memories!

Come not from the unseen Past,
Flying up the silent gale,
With that deep and muffled wail,
Slaying me with lying tale,
Base chime, false chime from the Past!
Not in sighs of mortal pain,
Pain and anguish rise again,
Voices from the far Death-plain--
Not thus speaks she from the Past.

Peace! yet--for though she speaks not
From her Paradise in thee,
Whispers nevermore to me
In my lonely misery,
Oh! that loved voice ne'er forgot,
Thou dost wake my brooding soul,
Smit'st it till the bitter dole
Breaks aloud beyond controul,
While the briny tear-drops roll,
Drowning, cries which she hears not.

Cruel Bell! harsh Bell! ring on,
I shall turn my heart to stone,
Flinging back thy mocking tone,
Callous of thy deepest moan
Lying Bell! thy power is gone!
Spake she from her golden cloud,
Spake she to my heart aloud,
Every murmur of her voice,
Would bid my lone heart rejoice;
Every murmur of her voice,
Ah! would make my heart rejoice,
Lying Bell! thy power is gone.

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