Iron bells, these are

Hear the tolling of the bells-
Iron bells! *

the death knell or What a world of solemn thought their monody *

passing bells, which

are tolled for a departing soul.

Monody, a lament.

Menace, a threat.

compels !

In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright


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,


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And who, tolling, tolling, tolling
In that muffled monotone,*
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone-
They are neither man nor woman,
They are neither brute nor human,
They are Ghouls!

And their king it is that tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,





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








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,*
5 That is spoken so lightly among men,
Let me pause awhile, and wash my pen;
Pure from blemish * and blot must it be
When it writes that word of mystery!

Thus have I laboured on and on,
JO Nearly through the Gospel of John.
Can it be that from the lips



Of this same gentle Evangelist,*


That Christ himself perhaps hath kissed,
Came the dread Apocalypse! *

It has a very awful look,

As it stands there at the end of the book,
Like the sun in an eclipse.j


Ah me! when I think of that vision divine
Think of writing it, line by line,

I stand in awe of the terrible curse,

Like the trump of doom, in the closing verse.
God forgive me! if ever I

Record, write down, inscribe.

Blemish, stain or spot. Mystery, something difficult to understand,

Evangelist, a writer
of the Gospel. There
were four Evange-
lists, viz., Matthew,
Mark, Luke, and

Apocalypse, name of
the last book of the
New Testament-

Eclipse, when the sun
is hidden by some
other celestial body
passing before it.

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,
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,
Without a single blot or blunder,

Would not bear away the palm* from mine,

35 If we should compare them line for line.

There, now, is an initial * letter!

Saint Ulric himself never made a better !
Finished down to the leaf on the snail,
Down to the eyes on the peacock's tail!

Display, show.

Folio, a book (literally, a leaf).

The palm, the prize.

Initial, the letter beginning a word.

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

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How sweet the air is! How fair the scene!
I wish I had as lovely a green


Margin, the border or edge.

Gospel, good tidings; there are four Gospels in the New Testament.

Parley, to speak, to confer.

Corridor, a passageway.

One of the Maries, &c. One of the paintings of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

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,
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.






THERE were two fathers in this ghastly* crew,
And with them their two sons, of whom the one
Was more robust * and hardy to the view;
But he died early: and when he was gone,
His nearest messmate* told his sire, who threw


ghost like, pale, hideous. Robust,


healthy. Messmate, a

One glance on him, and said, "Heaven's will be mate or com


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panion who eats at the same table with another.


The other father had a weaklier child,
Of a soft cheek, and aspect* delicate;
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,*
As if to win a part from off the weight
15 He saw increasing on his father's heart,


With the deep, deadly thought, that they must part.

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

His eyes from off his face, but wiped the foam
From his pale lips, and ever on him gazed :
And when the wished-for* shower at length was


And the boy's eyes, which the dull film half glazed,
Brightened, and for a moment seemed to roam,
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, and pulse and hope were past,
He watched it wistfully
until away

Aspect, appearance.

He smiled, &c., he appeared cheerful, so

as to lighten his father's grief. Sire, father.

Wished-for, &c., the rain so much de

sired, for the boy was dying of thirst.

Wistfully, longingly.

'Twas borne by the rude wave wherein 'twas cast;
Then he himself sunk down all dumb and shivering, * Shivering,
And gave no sign of life, save his limbs quivering.' Quivering,

'Twas twilight, and the sunless day went down
Over the waste of waters; like a veil,

35 Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose the frown
Of one whose hate is masked but to assail.*
Thus to their hopeless eyes the night was shown,
And grimly darkled * o'er their faces pale,



Assail, attack. Darkled, grew dark.


a demon or

evil spirit who was supposed to be always within call, like

a servant or attendant.

Anticipate, foretaste.

And the dim, desolate deep: twelve days had Fear
Been their familiar,* and now Death was here.

Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell—

Then shrieked the timid, and stood still the brave-
Then some leaped overboard with dreadful yell,
As eager to anticipate * their grave;

And the sea yawned around her, like a hell,



And down she sucked with her the whirling wave,
Like one who grapples with his enemy,
And strives to strangle him before he die.

Universal, general.

Remorseless, pitiless. At intervals, from time to time. Convulsive, spasmodic.

And first one universal * shriek there rushed,
Louder than the loud ocean-like a crash
Of echoing thunder; and then all was hushed,
Save the wild wind and the remorseless * dash
Of billows; but at intervals there gushed,
Accompanied by a convulsive splash,


A solitary shriek, the bubbling cry

Of some strong swimmer in his agony.





THOMAS BABINGTON, LORD MACAULAY (1800-1859), was distinguished as a statesman, an orator, and an essayist; but above all as a historian. brilliancy of illustration, in_graphic description, and in charm of style, he has never been surpassed. For two and a half years he held a legal appointment in India. From 1839 till 1847 he represented Edinburgh in the House of Commons. He was made a Peer in 1857. Chief works: History of England (unfinished), Critical and Historical Essays, and The Lays of Ancient Rome.

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* Horatius Cocles, who, with Spurius Lartius and Herminius, defended the wooden bridge over the Tiber, at Rome, against the Tuscans, under Porsena.

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