More from Southampton Sketches by Elise M. Sandell:
The bells of St. Michael’s, which have rung on through the centuries, have always been fascinating. A memory comes of a summer evening some years ago. It was spent on the deck of a small yacht moored off the Western Shore, above the Pier, in the little tranquil stretch of water now filled in and covered with the New Docks. The high tide was swaying the boat gently, lulling one into quietude. Then, suddenly, the bells of St. Michael’s began to chime, their voices floating over the water in exquisite cadences of mellow, limpid sound, peal upon peal. The rugged Old Walls were suffused with the sunset glow, and one sat entranced, long after the echoes of the bells had faded into tremulous spindrifts of faint melody across the river and away to the distant Forest shore. An unforgettable experience, and one, no doubt, shared by many Southamptonians.
To Sleep (A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by)
Smooth fields, white sheets of water and pure sky;
I have thought of all by turns, and yet do lie
Sleepless! and soon the small birds’ melodies
Must hear, first uttered from my orchard trees;
And the first cuckoo’s melancholy cry,
Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay
And could not win thee, sleep, by any stealth.
— William Wordsworth