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76                                        FRANKLIN-SQUARE SONG COLLECTION.
Memory Bells.—On the fifth day of my journey across the Syrian desert the air above lay dead, and all the whole earth that I could reach with my utmost sight and keenest listening was still and lifeless as some dispeopled and forgotten world that rolls round and round in the heavens through wasted floods of light. The sun, growing fiercer, shone down more mightily now than ever on me he shone before, and as I drooped my head under his fire and, closing my eyes against the glare that surrounded me, slowly fell asleep, for how
many minutes or moments, I cannot tell, but after awhile I was gently awakened by a peal of church bells—my native bells—the innocent bells of Marlen, that never before sent forth their music beyond the Blaygon hills! My first idea naturally was, that I still remained fast under the power of a dream. I roused myself, and drew aside the silk that covered my eyes, and plunged my bare face into the light. Then at least I was well enough wakened, but still those old Marlen bells rang on, not ringing for joy, but properly,
J. Strauss. Baden Polka.
prosily, steadily, merrily ringing for " church." After a while the sound died away slowly; it happened that neither I nor any of my party had a watch by which to measure the exact time of its lasting, but it seemed to me that about ten minutes had passed before the bells ceased. I attributed the effect to the great heat of the sun, the perfect dryness of the clear air through which I moved, and the deep stillness of all around me; it seemed to me that these causes, by occasioning
a great tension, and consequent susceptibility of the hearing organs, had rendered them liable to tingle under the passing touch of some mere memory, that must have swept across my brain in a moment of sleep. Since my return to England, it has been told me that like sounds have been heard at sea, and that a sailor becalmed under a vertical sun, in the midst of the wide ocean, has listened in trembling wonder to the chime of his own village bells—Kuiglake's Eothen.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III