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Near the ancient town of Raleigh,
This many and many a day,
There lies a warm green valley,
Where the peasant people say


Once nestled a happy village;
In all the country round
No pasturage nor tillage
Was goodlier to be found.


There deep in lush green meadows
Stood dew-lapped craven cows;
And homeward in the shadows,
Maids blushed at lovers' vows.


Grandsires retold their stories
To grandams in the sun,
Turning the wheel in their glories,
The while the flax was spun.


There peace her wing furled lightly,
"Thank God, and all is well!"
Said the old sexton nightly,
As he rang the curfew bell.


Till one dark, fateful morning,
That lowered in lurid gloom,
An earthquake without warning
Broke like the day of doom.


A long low roar as of thunder;
A near and nearer peal;
Hearts beat in fear and wonder,
The village began to reel.


The bell rocked up in the steeple,
It rang at every shock;
Cried the startled peasant people
"The Angelus! who doth mock?"


Quoth one, "It is the sexton,
Ringing the call to prayer."
One--two--three--crash! the next one
Went up in great despair.


Oh, the little children clinging
To mothers frenzied so!
Oh, the dole of that bell ringing,
Oh, the wailing and the woe!


Oh, the rocking and the reeling
Of the doomed and dizzying walls;
Oh, the shrieks and mad appealing,
Oh, the silence that appalls!


Engulfed were village and people
In a terrible yawning lurch;
Aye, to the very steeple
Went down out of sight the church.


All buried there with each other,
Not one was left to mourn:
No fond heart from another,
Nor love from love was torn.


Adown the desolate valley
The sods settled into place;
And through that vale near Raleigh
The grass grew soon apace.


But the peasant people whisper
That when the Angelus rings,
And at the evening vesper
Are heard mysterious things;


If one shall place uncovered,
A listening ear to ground,
A faint bell is discovered
Ringing with regular sound.


Mournfully swinging, swinging,
Dolorous, dim and slow,
That buried bell is ringing
The knell of a buried woe.