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And endless prayer, and crucifix, and shrine,
And all religion's dower,
O, but to see that hour !
And who shall smite thee then ?—and who shall see
Thy second glory o'er ? When they who make thee free themselves are free,
To fall no more.
Denis Florence Marcartby.
BLESSING THE BELLS.
(From the “ Bell Founder.”) Now they enter, and now more divinely the Saints'
painted effigies smile, Now the Acolytes bearing lit tapers move solemnly
down through the aisle, Now the Thurifer swings the rich censer, and the
white-curling vapour up floats, And hangs round the deep-pealing organ, and blends
with the tremulous notes. In a white shining alb comes the Abbot, and he cir
cles the bells round about, And with oil, and with salt, and with water, they are
purified inside and out;
They are mark'd with Christ's mystical symbol, while
the priests and the choristers sing, And are bless'd in the name of that God to whose i honour they ever shall ring.
Toll, toll! with a rapid vibration, with a melody
silv'ry and strong, The bells from the sound-shaken belfry are singing,
their first maiden song ; Not now for the dead or the living, or the triumphs
of peace or of strife, But a quick joyous outburst of jubilee full of their
newly-felt life. Rapid, more rapid, the clapper rebounds from the
round of the bells Far and more far through the valley the intertwined
melody swellsQuivering and broken the atmosphere trembles and
twinkles around, Like the eyes and the hearts of the hearers that
glisten and beat to the sound.
THE BELL-FOUNDER FINDS HIS LOST BELLS.
A BARK bound for Erin lay waiting, he enter'd like
one in a dream; Fair winds in the full purple sails led him soon to the
Shannon's broad stream.
'Twas an evening that Florence might envy, so rich
was the lemon-hued air, As it lay on lone Scattery's island, or lit the green
mountains of Clare ; The wide-spreading old giant river roll’d his waters as
smooth and as still As if Oonagh, with all her bright nymphs, had come
down from the far fairy hill, To fling her enchantments around on the mountains,
the air, and the tide, And to soothe the worn heart of the old man who
look'd from the dark vessel's side.
Borne on the current, the vessel glides smoothly but
swiftly away, By Carrigaholt, and by many a green sloping headland
and bay, 'Twixt Cratloe's blue hills and green woods, and the
soft sunny shores of Tervoe, And now the fair city of Limerick spreads out on the
broad bank below; Still nearer and nearer approaching, the mariners look
o'er the town, The old man sees nought but St. Mary's square tower,
with its battlements brown. He listens : as yet all is silent, but now, with a sudden
surprise, A rich peal of melody rings from that tower through
the clear evening skies !
One note is enough : his eye moistens, his heart, long
so wither'd, outswells, He has found them—the sons of his labours—his
musical, magical bells ! At each stroke all the bright past returneth, around
him the sweet Arno shines, His children-his darling Francesca—his purple-clad
trellis of vines ! Leaning forward, he listens—he gazes—he hears in
that wonderful strain The long-silent voices that murmur, “Oh! leave us
not, father, again !" 'Tis granted—he smiles—his eye closes—the breath
from his white lips hath fledThe father has gone to his children—the old Cam
panaro is dead !
FROM "THE PILLAR TOWERS OF IRELAND.” How many different rites have these gray old temples
known ! To the mind what dreams are written in these chro
nicles of stone ! What terror and what error, what gleams of love and
truth, Have flash'd from these walls since the world was in
its youth !
Here blazed the sacred fire, and, when the sun was
gone, As a star from afar to the traveller it shone ;
And the warm blood of the victim have these gray
old temples drunk, And the death-song of the Druid and the matin of the
Here was placed the holy chalice that held the sacred
wine, And the gold cross from the altar, and the relics from
the shrine, And the mitre shining brighter, with its diamonds,
than the East, And the crosier of the Pontiff, and the vestments of
the Priest !
Where blazed the sacred fire, rung out the vesper
bell, Where the fugitive found shelter, became the hermit's
cell ; And hope hung out its symbol to the innocent and
good, For the Cross o'er the moss of the pointed summit
There may it stand for ever, while this symbol doth
impart To the mind one glorious vision, or one proud throb
to the heart ; While the breast needeth rest may these gray old
temples last, Bright prophets of the future, as preachers of the