Favorite Songs and Hymns For School and Home, page: 0248

450 Of The World's Best Songs And Hymns, With Lyrics & Sheet music for voice & piano.

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248
The music of church bells has become a matter of poetry. I remember, though somewhat imperfectly, a touching story connected with the church bells of a town in Italy, which had become famous all over Europe for their peculiar solemnity and sweetness. They were made by a young Italian artisan, and were his heart's pride. During the war, the place was sacked, and the bells carried off no one knew whither. After the tumult was over, the poor fellow again re­turned to his work; but it had been the solace of his
life to wander about at evening, and listen to the chimes of his bells; and he grew dispirited and sick, and pined for them till he could no longer bear it, and left his home, determined to hear them once again before he died. He went from land to land, stopping in every village, till the hope that alone sustained him began to falter, and he knew, at last, that he was dying. He lay, one evening, in a boat that was slowly floating down the Rhine, almost insensible, and scarce expecting to see the sun rise again, that was now set-
BONNIE DOON.
ting gloriously over the vine-covered hills of Germany. Presently, the vesper bells of a distant village began to ring, and as the chimes stole faintly over the river with the evening breeze, he started from his lethargy. He was not mistaken. It was the deep, solemn, heav­enly music of his own bells; and the sounds that he had been thirsting for years to hear, were melting over the water. He leaned from the boat, with his ear close to the calm surface of the river, and listened. They rung out their hymn, and ceased; and he still
lay motionless in his painful posture. His companion spoke to him, but he gave no answer; his spirit, in the glad requiem of the beloved bells, had followed the last sound of the vesper chime.— Willis.
Harmonious words render ordinary ideas accept­able; less ordinary, pleasant; novel and ingenious ones, delightful. As pictures and statues, and living beauty too, show better by music-light, so is poetry irradiated, vivified, glorified, and raised into immortal life by the influence of harmony.—Landor.
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