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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.


From the German. Song of the Bell

  • First published in Hyperion, Book III. chapter iii. The scene of the chapter is laid at Interlachen. “The evening sun was setting,” writes the author, “when I first beheld thee. The sun of life will set ere I forget thee! Surely it was a scene like this that inspired the soul of the Swiss poet, in his Song of the Bell.”

  • BELL! thou soundest merrily,

    When the bridal party

    To the church doth hie!

    Bell! thou soundest solemnly,

    When, on Sabbath morning,

    Fields deserted lie!

    Bell! thou soundest merrily;

    Tellest thou at evening,

    Bed-time draweth nigh!

    Bell! thou soundest mournfully,

    Tellest thou the bitter

    Parting hath gone by!

    Say! how canst thou mourn?

    How canst thou rejoice?

    Thou art but metal dull!

    And yet all our sorrowings,

    And all our rejoicings,

    Thou dost feel them all!

    God hath wonders many,

    Which we cannot fathom,

    Placed within thy form!

    When the heart is sinking,

    Thou alone canst raise it,

    Trembling in the storm!