The Minster-Bell.

On a bleak hill the Minster stands,1
Black with Time’s breath ; the ivy there,2
Still struggling up its crumbling stair,3
Spreads wide its thousand-fingered hands.4
Slow pacing through the lonely dell,5
When softly twinkling stars appear,6
How solemnly, how sweet, and clear,7
Chimes from its tower the vesper-bell !8
To meditation deep, profound,9
Its voice the thoughtful soul aye moves ;10
And for dead hopes and blighted loves,11
Thousands have in it solace found.12
A preacher to the hamlets small,13
And vale-embosomed villages,14
That bell-voice booms across the leas,15
Bearing a sermon unto all.16
Thousands who in old churchyards rest,17
Have paced this solitary dell,18
And felt the sermon of the bell,19
Wake deepest echoes in their breast.20
And long up in its hoary home,21
Shall that bell mark Time’s rapid flight22
At morn, at eve, and solemn night,23
Its message o’er, the valleys boom.24
For me, wherever called to dwell,25
Whether I sorrow or rejoice,26
I’ll ne’er forget the warning voice27
Of the deep-sounding Minster-Bell.28