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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Chimes of England

By Arthur Cleveland Coxe (1818–1896)

[From Christian Ballads. 1840.—Revised Edition. 1887.]

THE CHIMES, the chimes of Motherland,

Of England green and old,

That out from fane and ivied tower

A thousand years have tolled,—

How glorious must their music be

As breaks the hallowed day,

And calleth with a seraph’s voice

A nation up to pray!

Those chimes that tell a thousand tales,

Sweet tales of olden time;

And ring a thousand memories

At vesper, and at prime:

At bridal and at burial,

For cottager and king—

Those chimes—those glorious Christian chimes,

How blessedly they ring!

Those chimes, those chimes of Motherland,

Upon a Christmas morn,

Outbreaking, as the angels did,

For a Redeemer born!

How merrily they call afar,

To cot and baron’s hall,

With holly decked and mistletoe,

To keep the festival!

The chimes of England, how they peal

From tower and gothic pile,

Where hymn and swelling anthem fill

The dim cathedral aisle;

Where windows bathe the holy light

On priestly heads that falls,

And stain the florid tracery

Of banner-dighted walls!

And then, those Easter bells, in Spring,

Those glorious Easter chimes!

How loyally they hail thee round,

Old Queen of holy times!

From hill to hill, like sentinels,

Responsively they cry,

And sing the rising of the Lord,

From vale to mountain high.

I love ye—chimes of Motherland,

With all this soul of mine,

And bless the Lord that I am sprung

Of good old English line:

And like a son I sing the lay

That England’s glory tells;

For she is lovely to the Lord,

For you, ye Christian bells!

And heir of her ancestral fame,

Though far away my birth,

Thee too I love, my forest-land,

The joy of all the earth;

For thine thy mother’s voice shall be,

And here—where God is King,

With English chimes, from Christian spires,

The wilderness shall ring.