alarm of fire.




How it swells !

How it dwells
. On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture * that impels

Rapture,' very great

delight or pleasure.
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells-
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells !
Hear the loud alarum-bells-
Brazen bells !*

Brazen bells, these

are the bells that What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency *

startle the sleepers tells !

in the night with the In the startled ear of night

Turbulency, tumult,
How they scream out their affright!

great noise.
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,

Out of tune,
In a clamorous * appealing to the mercy of the Clamorous, noisy.

In a mad expostulation * with the deaf and Expostulation, re-
frantic * fire,

Frantic, furious.
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a resolute endeavour
Now—now to sit, or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells !
What a tale their terror tells

Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating * air! Palpitating, beating

quickly, throbbing. Yet the ear it fully knows,

By the twanging

And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
· Yet the ear distinctly tells,

In the jangling,

And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of
the bells-

Of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells,

Clangour, clashing
In the clamour and the clangour* of the bells! together.'


Hear the tolling of the bells— Iron bells. these are

Iron bells ! * the death knell or passing bells, which what a world of solemn thought their monody * are tolled for a de. parting soul.

In the silence of the night, Monody, lament.

How we shiver with affright
Menace, threat At the melancholy menace * of their tone !

For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats

Is a groan.
And the people—ah, the people-
They that dwell up in the steeple,

All alone,

And who, tolling, tolling, tolling Monotone, a repeti

In that muffled monotone, *
tion of the same note
in music.

Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone-
They are neither man nor woman,

They are neither brute nor human, Ghouls, demons in

They are Ghouls ! * Eastern fable, who

And their king it is that tolls ; were supposed to prey upon human

And he rolls, rolls, rolls, bodies.

Rolls Paan, song of

A pæan * from the bells ! triumph,

And his merry bosom swells
With the pæan of the bells !
And he dances and he yells ;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the pæan of the bells-

Of the bells :
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells,
To the sobbing of the bells ;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells,
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells-

Bells, bells, bells,
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

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It is growing dark ! Yet one line more,
And then my work for to-day is o'er.
I come again to the name of the Lord !
Ere I that awful name record, *

Record, write down,
That is spoken so lightly among men,

Let me pause awhile, and wash my pen;
Pure from blemish * and blot must it be Blemish, stain or spot.
When it writes that word of mystery ! *

Mystery, something

difficult to underThus have I laboured on and on,

Nearly through the Gospel of John.
Can it be that from the lips
Of this same gentle Evangelist, *

Evangelist, there
That Christ himself perhaps hath kissed,

were four; the word

means a writer of Came the dread Apocalypse ! *

the gospel, 15 It has a very awful look,

A pocalypse, name of As it stands there at the end of the book,

the last book of the

New Testament-
Like the sun in an eclipse.*

Ah me! when I think of that vision divine Eclipse, when the

sun is hidden by Think of writing it, line by line,

some other celestial 20 I stand in awe of the terrible curse,

body passing before

Like the trump of doom, in the closing verse.
God forgive me! if ever I
Take aught * from the book of that Prophecy, Aught, anything.

Lest my part too should be taken away
25 From the Book of Life on the Judgment Day.

This is well written, though I say it!
I should not be afraid to display * it,

Display, show.
In open day, on the selfsame shelf,

With the writings of St. Thecla herself, 30 Or of Theodosius, who of old

Wrote the Gospels in letters of gold !
That goodly folio * standing yonder,

Folio, a book (lite.
Without a single blot or blunder,

rally, a leaf). Would not bear away the palm * from mine, The palm, the prize. 35 If we should compare them line for line. There, now, is an initial * letter!

Initiol, the letter be-
Saint Ulric himself never made a better! ginning a name.
Finished down to the leaf on the snail,
Down to the eyes on the peacock's tail !

* Scriptorium, a place set apart for transcribing, illuminating, and writing books. This extract is taken from The Golden Legend

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And now, as I turn the volume over,
And see what lies between cover and cover.
What treasures of heart these pages hold,
All ablaze with crimson and gold,
God forgive me! I seem to feel
A certain satisfaction * steal
Into my heart, and into my brain,
As if my talent had not lain
Wrapped in a napkin,* and all in vain.
Yes, I might almost say to the Lord,
Here is a copy of thy Word,
Written out with much toil and pain;
Take it, O Lord, and let it be
As something I have done for thee!
How sweet the air is ! How fair the scene !
I wish I had as lovely a green

To paint my landscapes and my leaves !
How the swallows twitter under the eaves !
There, now, there is one in her nest;
I can just catch a glimpse of her head and breast.
And will sketch her thus in her quiet nook, 60
For the margin of my Gospel * book.
I can see no more! Through the valley yonder
A shower is passing ; I hear the thunder
Mutter its curses in the air,
The Devil's own and only prayer !

The dusty road is brown with rain,
And, speeding on with might and main,
Hitherward rides a gallant train.
They do not parley,* they cannot wait,
But hurry in at the convent-gate.
What a fair lady! and beside her
What a handsome, graceful, noble rider !
Now she gives him her hand to alight;
They will beg shelter for the night.
I will go down to the corridor, *
And try to see that face once more ;
It will do for the face of some beautiful Saint,

Or for one of the Maries * I shall paint.

Gospel, good tidings; there are four of them.

Parley, to speak, to confer.

Corridor, a passageway. Maries, the holy women who ministered to Jesus Christ.


done !



THERE were two fathers in this ghastly * crew, Ghastly,
And with them their two sons, of whom the one

ghost - like,

pale, hideous. Was more robust * and hardy to the view;

But he died early : and when he was gone,


healtlıy. 5 His nearest messmate * told his sire, who threw

Messmate, a One glance on him, and said, “Heaven's will be mate or com

panion who

eats at the I can do nothing ;” and he saw him thrown

same table Into the deep, without a tear or groan.

with another. The other father had a weaklier child, Of a soft cheek, and aspect * delicate ;

Aspect, ap

pearance, But the boy bore up long, and with a mild

And patient spirit held aloof his fate :
Little he said, and now and then he smiled,*

He smiled,
As if to win a part from off the weight

&c., he ap

peared He saw increasing on his father's heart,

cheerful, so With the deep, deadly thought, that they must part. as to lighten

his father's

grief. And o'er him bent his sire,* and never raised

Sire, father, His eyes from off his face, but wiped the foam

From his pale lips, and ever on him gazed : 20 And when the wished-for * shower at length was Wished-for, come,

&c., the rain

80 much deAnd the boy's eyes, which the dull film half glazed, sired, for the Brightened, and for a moment seemed to roam, boy was

dying of He squeezed from out a rag some drops of rain

Into his dying child's mouth ; but in vain !
25 The boy expired. The father held the clay,

And looked upon it long; and when at last
Death left no doubt, and the dead burden lay

Stiff on his heart, anıl pulse and hope were past,
He watched it wistfully * until away


longingly. 'Twas borne by the rude wave wherein 'twas cast; Then he himself sunk down all dumb and shivering, * Shivering,

trembling. And gave no sign of life, save his limbs quivering. *


shaking. 'Twas twilight, and the sunless day went down

Over the waste of waters ; like a veil,
Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose the frown
Of one whose hate is masked but to assail.*

dssal, at

tack. Thus to their hopeless eyes the night was shown,

Darkled, And grimly darkled * o'er their faces pale,

grew dark.



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