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I hear even now the infinite fierce chorus,
The cries of agony, the endless groan,
Which, through the ages that have gone before us,
In long reverberations reach our own.

5 On helm and harness rings the Saxon hammer, Through Cimbric forest roars the Norseman's song, And loud, amid the universal clamor,

O'er distant deserts sounds the Tartar gong.

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I hear the Florentine, who from his palace
Wheels out his battle bell with dreadful din,
And Aztec priests upon their teocallis

Beat the wild war drums made of serpent's skin,

The tumult of each sacked and burning village; The shout that every prayer for mercy drowns; 15 The soldiers' revels in the midst of pillage; The wail of famine in beleaguered towns;

The bursting shell, the gateway wrenched asunder, The rattling musketry, the clashing blade; And ever and anon, in tones of thunder 20 The diapason of the cannonade.

Is it, O man, with such discordant noises,
With such accursed instruments as these,
Thou drownest Nature's sweet and kindly voices,
And jarrest the celestial harmonies ?

"THOU, TO0, SAIL ON, O SHIP OF STATE" 67

Were half the power that fills the world with terror Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and

courts,

Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals nor forts:

The warrior's name would be a name abhorrèd!
And every nation, that should lift again
Its hand against a brother, on its forehead
Would wear forevermore the curse of Cain !

Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals

The blast of War's great organ shakes the skies ! But beatuiful as songs of the immortals,

The holy melodies of love arise.

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Down the dark future, through long generations,
The echoing sounds grow fainter and then cease; 10
And like a bell with solemn, sweet vibrations,

I hear once more the voice of Christ say, "Peace!"

"Thou, too, Sail On, O Ship of State"

Thou, too, sail on, O ship of State!
Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

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We know what Master laid thy keel, What Workman wrought thy ribs of steel, Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, What anvils rang, what hammers beat, 5 In what a forge and what a heat, Were shaped the anchors of thy hope! Fear not each sudden sound and shock, 'Tis of the wave and not the rock; 'Tis but the flapping of the sail, 10 And not a rent made by the gale. In spite of rock and tempest's roar, In spite of false lights on the shore, Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!

Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee, 15 Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,

Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,

Are all with thee are all with thee!

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EDGAR ALLAN POE

AMERICA, 1809-1849

The Bells

Hear the sledges with the bells —
Silver bells!

20 What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

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THE BELLS

In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically swells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells,

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

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Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,

What a liquid ditty floats

To the turtle dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!

Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!

How it dwells

69

On the Future! how it tells

Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing

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Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -

To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

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What a tale of terror now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night

In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire.
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,

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And a resolute endeavor,

Now now to sit or never,

By the side of the pale-faced moon.

How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,

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Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!

How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour

On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,

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