AS THE CHURCH-BELLS CHIME.
Copyright, 1891, by Francis, Day & Hunter.
Written by Norton Atkins. Composed by Felix McGlennon.
Time, eleven, Sunday morning; scene, outside a church in town;
People, clad in Sabbath raiment, there are passing up and down;
Some seek gaiety and pleasure, others bent on praise" And prayer;
While the organ softly, sweetly, plays a tender, sacred air.
Hither comes the city merchant, to his velvet-cushion'd pew;
Hither comes a wretched outcast, with a face of ghastly hue;
Meeting on the solemn threshold, when they reach the sacred place,
Sou and father know each other, once again stand face to face.
"Father!" he pleads, "my repentance is strong -
Have I not suffered for that, my one wrong?
You'll hope for mercy yourself before long; pray then, forgive me my crime!",
"Forger! begone! you are none of my kin!"
One glance of scorn And he passes within,
Leaving his son to starvation and sin, as the church-bells chime!
Hark! what means that joyous shouting? Crowds of people line the way,
Waiting to receive a carriage-this is some one's wedding-day!
Everybody knows their hist'ry, tho' it happened years ago;
How the girl, to save her father, married his relentless foe;
How the lovers, broken-hearted, parted, p'rhaps no more to meet.
Now behold what happy changes time hath brought with flying feet;
How the lovers, free as ever-strange, indeed, the hand of fate-
Learn the truth of that old adage, "All things come to those who wait!"
Bright shines the sun as they enter the church,
After long, long years of sorrow and pain;
Oft had they prayed they might meet, but in vain, many and many a time!
Though in hard places their lots have been cast,
Fair dawns the future, for parting is past,
Two faithful hearts are united at last, as the church-bells chime!
'Tis the hour of praise and worship, in a dreary prison's gloom,
And the distant church-bells ringing, breaks a silence like the tomb.
Seated in his lonely dungeon, is a man with haggard face;
Yet, tho' grief has told upon it, nothing vicious there you trace.
Grim And stern the jailor enters, takes him to the place of prayer;
Mark his brow, so calm And fearless, not a sign of guilt is there!
Then the kindly chaplain bids him fervently to pray And fast;
Ere the church-bells ring next Sunday, he is doomed to breathe his last.
"I fear not death! "he replies, "but my child!-
She by a villain to Bin was beguiled;
I struck him down in my frenzy so wild-surely it wasn't a crime!"
What is it thrills me? ah! what do I see?
Why, 'tis a message, a pardon for me!
Merciful heaven! I'm saved! I am free!" as the church-bells chime!