(Air — J. M. Edney.)
The merry bells of England, how I love to hear them sound
The gladsome chime of olden time, that spreadeth joy around;
They ring from moss-clad steeples amid the cottage band,
And send their sound of revelry o’er all our happy land;
They sound from stately edifice, from many an old church tower,
The rich and poor alike can feel the influence of their power;
To ev’ry heart their tones impart fond mem’ry’s dearest spells;
For a Briton’s native music is old England’s merry bells.
Oh, the merry bells of England — their chimes ring loud and free,
To hail again, by land or main, some well-won victory;
To England’s brave, in Honour’s grave, their music seems to say
“The memory of your glorious deeds shall never pass away.”
And oft too ring the village bells to hail the wedded pair,
When nuptial vows the twain have bound Love’s heart and home to share;
There’s not a sound can e’er resound in which such rapture dwells
As in Britain’s native music — old England’s merry bells.
Oh! the merry bells of England, what rapture fills the scene,
When their joyous peals the day reveals — the birthday of our Queen;
As mid the shouts their tones ring out — and voices clear and gay,
Proclaim a nation’s homage on Victoria’s natal day.
Oh! may they sound, as time comes round to fill with joy the air,
On many a happy birthday of old England’s choicest fair,
There’s nought a people’s loyalty more truly, clearly tells,
Than a Briton’s native music — old England’s merry bells.
Joseph Edwards Carpenter, The Romance of the Dreamer, and Other Poems, London: W. S. Orr & Co., 1841, pp. 127-128
[The Archive.org copy is missing some of the pages at the start of the book, but Google Books also has a copy of The Romance of the Dreamer, and Other Poems.]
The Adelaide Chronicle, and South Australian Literary Record (Adelaide, SA), 25 November 1840, [p. 4]
J. E. Carpenter, Songs and Ballads, London: H. G. Clarke and Co., 1844, pp. 61-62
Diprose’s Royal Song Book, London: J. Diprose, 1845, pp. 382-383
The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (Bathurst, NSW), 15 December 1855, [p. 3]
Notes by Andrew Guild:
Changed “As in Brition’s” to “As in Britain’s”.
For the heading of the third section, changed “II” to “III”.