"Bells From Over The Hills Sound Sweet."

By Nora May French

    —Russian Proverb

Oh, when the afternoon is long and hazy
            So still the valley lies, so still, so still,
With sweeping smoky spirals blue and lazy,
  With yellow light aglow from hill to hill.
Sometimes the echoes startle with my singing;
  Sometimes a bird the heavy silence fills,
And always I can hear them ringing, ringing,
  My mocking bells, my Bells from over the Hills.

Sweetly, faintly ring they, cruel ring they:
  "Captive in your prison hear us call!"
Message from a life of action bring they,
  Life beyond these hills more sweet than all.
Would that I could heed their call and follow,
  Waking while this drowsy valley sleeps,
Follow Fortune over the hill and hollow,
  Wrest from her the treasures that she keeps!

My freedom gained, what fate would be for telling?
  Still hills and hills beyond would stretch for aye.
Peace in this little valley has its dwelling,
  And that the chase would profit who shall say?
For hopes and dear delights, ah, who can near them?
  Something ungained, the heart with longing fills,
And follow though I might I still should hear them,
  The mocking bells, the Bells from over the Hills.