University of Virginia Library

Search this document 

a web of many textures

expand section 
expand section 


With effluent note and musical swell,
Comes the voice of a friend — the Old South Bell!
It speaks to me with an eloquent tongue,
As for years and years it has spoken and sung.
By night and by day has it served us well,
The faithful, truthful Old South Bell.
Though a hundred years have winged their flight,
And generations have sunk in night,
The bell still rings with a tone as true
As that which its morning hour first knew,
When old Trimountain hill and dell
First heard the sound of the Old South Bell.
We love to think of that olden time
When first outspoke its pleasant chime,
And fancy the ancient matrons and men
In the quaint and queer old garb of then,
As the hour of prayer the tongue did tell
Of the sanctimonious Old South Bell.
How gravely of old on the Sabbath day
Did it bid the people to church away,
And gallants and maidens in silence trod
The paths that led to the house of God —
Though their hearts conversed, we know right well,
As talked the musical Old South Bell.
'T was a glorious peal its tongue outspoke
When Freedom's thrill through the land awoke;
And ever since, on each natal day,
We 've felt our pulses the quicker play,
And we 've loved each note on our ear that fell
From the jolly, jubilant Old South Bell.
When fire has threatened the town with harm,
The Old South Bell has waked alarm,
And the firemen rushed, in fleet career,
Its clanging and warning tones to hear,
While the timid trembled at the knell
Of the blatant, garrulous Old South Bell.


Page 195
And sad the notes the bell has flung
When the loved have passed from the loved among;
And the mournful throb of the funeral strain
Has given the aching heart more pain,
As the frequent and meaning measure fell
From the grieving tongue of the Old South Bell.
And other people will hear its voice,
And with it grieve, or with it rejoice,
When the men now living shall pass away
To join those of the earlier day —
But still, unchanging, the tone will swell
Of the faithful and truthful Old South Bell.