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“I'D MOURN THE HOPES.

79

Far better light shall win me,

Along the path I've yet to roam; The mind, that burns within me,

And pure smiles from thee at home.

goes out

Thus, when the lamp that lighted

The traveler, at first
He feels awhile benighted

And looks round in fear and doubt.
But soon, the prospect clearing,

By cloudless star-light on he treads, And thinks no lamp so cheering

As that light which heaven sheds!

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THE OLD CHURCH BELL.

W. H. SPARKS.

[The following note accompanied the copy of the poem found among Colonel Spark’s papers, says the Atlanta Constitution: “After an absence of thirty years, I visited my native village, Eatonton, Putnam county, Ga., and sojourned for a week in the hospitable home of my boyhood's friend, Edmund Reid. On Sabbath morning, whilst alone in my bed-room, the old church bell commenced to ring. My heart was touched, and tears flooded my eyes. The tones were familiar as though I had heard them every Sunday during all that lapse of intervening time. With my pencil I wrote these lines in a small memorandum book which I carried in my pocket :"]

Ring on, ring on, sweet Sabbath bell;

Thy mellow tones I love to hear,
I was a boy, when first they fell

In melody upon mine ear;
In those dear days, long past and gone,

When sporting here in boyish glee,
The magic of thy Sabbath tone

Awoke emotions deep in me.

Long years have gone and I have strayed
Out o'er the world, far, far

away,
But thy dear tones havé round me played

On every lovely Sabbath day.

THE OLD CHURCH BELL.

81

When strolling o'er the mighty plains,

Spread widely in the unpeopled West, Each Sabbath morn I've heard thy strains

Tolling the welcome day of rest.

Upon the rocky mountain crest,

Where Christian feet have never trod, In the deep bosom of the West

I've thought of thee and worshiped God; Ring un, sweet bell! I've come again

To hear thy cherished call to prayer, There's less of pleasure, now, than pain

In those dear tones which fill my ear.

Ring on, ring on, dear bell, ring on!

Once more I've come with whitened head To hear thee toll. The sounds are gone!

And e'er this Sabbath day has sped, I shall be gone, and may no more

Give ear to thee, sweet Sabbath bell! Dear church and bell, so loved of yore, And childhood's happy home, farewell!

-Eatonton, Ga., May 18, 1856.

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D

ID
you

hear that sound of woe,
Ring out on the still night air?
Did you see the mad fiend's blow

Fall on her who knelt in prayer?
Did
you

hear the last sad moan,
As that fair one's soul was freed.
And list in vain to hear a groan

Or sigh from him who did the deed ?

Ah, see that smile of joy and rest,

Now as she draws her last short breath, That to her still white face is prest,

E’en while she tastes the cųp of death. I would not have you hear the curse

That from this base man's lips there fell, Nor go to see the

poor

lone hearse
And grave of her with whom all's well-

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But turn now to a scene more fair,

And see those two so blithe and gay;

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He twines a rose wreath in her hair,

She smiles on him through all the day. He plights his love, wealth, dreams of bliss.

And she pure love, fair hand, leal heart, Their vows are sealed with faith's sweet kiss,

A high trust wrought by no rude art.

They wed; and as the years sped on,

A dark cloud came and o'er them hung; Their vows were hid, their love was gone,

And in mute woe joy's knell was rung. The Fiend of Drink—the curse and foe

Of man through all the flights of time-Stole in and laid the strong youth low;

HE DRANK, and this was all his crime.

The deeds of wrong which he has done,

All came from this his first great sin, And all his once grand traits had won

Was lost in dark wild strife and din; Rum is the cause of all the shame

That holds him now with bands of steel, And when the stern Seer laid a claim

Oh what sharp pain his wife did feel!

But she is freed from all her woes

While he must still go down and down Through all the shades of crime's keen throes!

He sought a ban and she a crown. The years to come will tell the tale

Frail words cannot speak all the truth, When Death shall come on steed so pale,

To take with him this sin-wild youth.

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