The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

    The clapper on his giant side
    Shall ring no peal for blushing bride,
    For birth, or death, or new-year tide,
        Or festival begun! 
    A nation’s joy alone shall be
    The signal for his revelry;
    And for a nation’s woes alone
    His melancholy tongue shall moan—­
        Hurra! the work is done!

    Borne on the gale, deep-toned and clear,
    His long, loud summons shall we hear,
    When statesmen to their country dear
        Their mortal race have run;
    When mighty Monarchs yield their breath,
    And patriots sleep the sleep of death,
    Then shall he raise his voice of gloom,
    And peal a requiem o’er their tomb—­
        Hurra! the work is done!

    Should foemen lift their haughty hand,
    And dare invade us where we stand,
    Fast by the altars of our land
        We’ll gather every one;
    And he shall ring the loud alarm,
    To call the multitudes to arm,
    From distant field and forest brown,
    And teeming alleys of the town—­
        Hurra! the work is done!

    And as the solemn boom they hear,
    Old men shall grasp the idle spear,
    Laid by to rust for many a year,
        And to the struggle run: 
    Young men shall leave their toils or books,
    Or turn to swords their pruning-hooks;
    And maids have sweetest smiles for those
    Who battle with their country’s foes—­
        Hurra! the work is done!

    And when the cannon’s iron throat
    Shall bear the news to dells remote,
    And trumpet blast resound the note—­
        That victory is won;
    When down the wind the banner drops,
    And bonfires blaze on mountain tops,
    His sides shall glow with fierce delight,
    And ring glad peals from morn to night—­
        Hurra! the work is done!

    But of such themes forbear to tell—­
    May never War awake this bell
    To sound the tocsin or the knell—­
        Hush’d be the alarum gun. 
    Sheath’d be the sword! and may his voice
    But call the nations to rejoice
    That War his tatter’d flag has furl’d,
    And vanish’d from a wiser world—­
        Hurra! the work is done!

    Still may he ring when struggles cease—­
    Still may he ring for joy’s increase,
    For progress in the arts of peace,
        And friendly trophies won;
    When rival nations join their hands,
    When plenty crowns the happy lands,
    When Knowledge gives new blessings birth,
    And Freedom reigns o’er all the earth—­
        Hurra! the work is done!


[Illustration:  FOUNDING OF THE BELL.]

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Project Gutenberg
The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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