Frances Ellen Watkins

Here you will find the Poem The Lost Bells of poet Frances Ellen Watkins

The Lost Bells

Year after year the artist wrought 
With earnest, loving care, 
The music flooding all his soul 
To pour upon the air. 

For this no metal was too rare, 
He counted not the cost; 
Nor deemed the years in which he toiled 
As labor vainly lost. 

When morning flushed with crimson light 
The golden gates of day, 
He longed to fill the air with chimes 
Sweet as a matin's lay. 

And when the sun was sinking low 
Within the distant West, 
He gladly heard the bells he wrought 
Herald the hour of rest. 

The music of a thousand harps 
Could never be so dear 
As when those solemn chants and thrills 
Fell on his list'ning ear. 

He poured his soul into their chimes, 
And felt his toil repaid; 
He called them children of his soul, 
His home a'near them made. 

But evil days came on apace, 
War spread his banner wide, 
And from his village snatched away 
The artist's love and pride. 

At dewy morn and stilly eve 
The chimes no more he heard; 
With dull and restless agony 
His spirit's depths was stirred. 

A weary longing filled his soul, 
It bound him like a spell; 
He left his home to seek the chimes -- 
The chimes he loved so well. 

Where lofty fanes in grandeur rose, 
Upon his ear there fell 
No music like the long lost chimes 
Of his beloved bell. 

And thus he wandered year by year. 
Touched by the hand of time, 
Seeking to hear with anxious heart 
Each well remembered chime. 

And to that worn and weary heart 
There came a glad surcease: 
He heard again the dear old chimes, 
And smiled and uttered peace. 

"The chimes! the chimes!" the old man cried, 
"I hear their tones at last;" 
A sudden rapture filled his heart, 
And all his cares were past. 

Yes, peace had come with death's sweet calm, 
His journeying was o'er, 
The weary, restless wanderer 
Had reached the restful shore. 

It may be that he met again, 
Enfolded in the air, 
The dear old chimes beside the gates 
Where all is bright and fair; 

That he who crossed and bowed his head 
When Angelus was sung 
In clearer light touched golden harps 
By angel fingers strung.