Longfellow—Christmas Bells


christmasbells


Christmas Bells.
December 25, 1864.
—————

I HEARD the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat,
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song,
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,—
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said,
‘For hate is strong
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth He sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!’

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

 


 

I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day, Burl Ives.


Courtesy of Democratic Thinker.


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