Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Bells...

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), 1867)

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.



I 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.



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."



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!

On Christmas day, 1864, the beloved poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow received word that his son, a soldier in the Civil War, had been wounded. Just two years before, Henry had lost his wife in a fire. As this devout Christian man sat alone with his grief, on the most joyful of Holy Days, he penned words of hope to challenge his own despair. He called his composition Christmas Bells. Little did he know that those words would someday be set to music and become a blessing to millions of people around the world.

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Beautiful words and an inspiring story. Didn't know that about him!