The Old School Bell (Poem by Frank Oliver Call)

Daily Classic Poem

The Old School Bell
By Frank Oliver Call

I can hear it calling, calling, sounding on the morning breeze,
    As so often I have heard it call before,
And its ringing thrills my spirit as the wind the whispering trees,
    But alas, I know for me it calls no more.
        Ah, how sweet the memory lingers!
        Though old Time's relentless fingers
Oft have turned the glass while flowed the sands away,
    Yet I'd give the dearest treasure
    Hardly gained from Fortune's measure,
Could I be a boy again for one short day.

I can see the gleaming river 'mid the willows winding blue,
    I can hear the schoolboys shouting by the shore,
Then the bell begins its calling, echoing the valley through,
    And the schoolboys turn toward the chapel door:
        Laggard footsteps, scarcely creeping,
        To the bell's low tolling keeping
Measured tread, as oft before my own have done;
    Ah, the longing ceasing never
    For a part in life's endeavour,
And to-day I count the gains that I have won!

I can hear it calling, calling, though its tongue no longer swings,
    For within my heart its notes are ringing free,
As with silent step before me, Memory the old scene brings
    And I think the old bell's voice is calling me.
        Then I see the old loved faces
        Grouped about their wonted places,
As the boyish voices chant their song of praise;
    Gone all thought of joy or sorrow,
    Loss to-day or gain to-morrow,
And I live again the life of other days.

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