Team-Bells at Dusk

FAINT, faint, vibrating through the tender gloom
With pulse of sound still firmer at each beat,
I hear, beyond the quiet village street,
A bell-team steadily returning home.
Above, the sky is but a half-lit dome,
And all the fields lie darkened at my feet,
Stayed suddenly to hear this music come,
Nearer, still nearer ; sweeter, and more sweet.
It has gone by, — a shadow and a sound :
The hollow murmur of the empty wain,
The carter’s voice and horses’ footfalls drowned
By that wild peal, whose melody again
Slowly, ’mid deeper gloom, with softened swell,
Sinks till it seems itself the echo of a bell.
Alfred Wood.