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Iron bells, these are
Hear the tolling of the 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.
In the silence of the night,
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
And the people-ah, the people
They that dwell up in the steeple,
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling
And their king it is that tolls;
* from the bells!
Keeping time, time, time,
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
It is growing dark! Yet one line more,
Thus have I laboured on and on,
Of this same gentle Evangelist,*
That Christ himself perhaps hath kissed,
It has a very awful look,
As it stands there at the end of the book,
Ah me! when I think of that vision divine
I stand in awe of the terrible curse,
Like the trump of doom, in the closing verse.
Record, write down, inscribe.
Blemish, stain or spot. Mystery, something difficult to understand,
Evangelist, a writer
Apocalypse, name of
Eclipse, when the sun
Take aught from the book of that Prophecy, Aught, anything.
25 From the Book of Life on the Judgment Day.
This is well written, though I say it !
30 Or of Theodosius, who of old
Wrote the Gospels in letters of gold!
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 !
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.
How sweet the air is! How fair the scene!
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 !
I can just catch a glimpse of her head and breast.
I can see no more! Through the valley yonder
The Devil's own and only prayer!
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,
ghost like, pale, hideous. Robust,
healthy. Messmate, a
One glance on him, and said, "Heaven's will be mate or com
panion who eats at the same table with another.
The other father had a weaklier child,
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
And the boy's eyes, which the dull film half glazed,
25 The boy expired. The father held the clay,
And looked upon it long; and when at last
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.
'Twas borne by the rude wave wherein 'twas cast;
'Twas twilight, and the sunless day went down
35 Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose the frown
Assail, attack. Darkled, grew dark.
a demon or
evil spirit who was supposed to be always within call, like
a servant or attendant.
And the dim, desolate deep: twelve days had Fear
Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell—
Then shrieked the timid, and stood still the brave-
And the sea yawned around her, like a hell,
And down she sucked with her the whirling wave,
Remorseless, pitiless. At intervals, from time to time. Convulsive, spasmodic.
And first one universal * shriek there rushed,
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.
* Horatius Cocles, who, with Spurius Lartius and Herminius, defended the wooden bridge over the Tiber, at Rome, against the Tuscans, under Porsena.