Bells on Christmas Day

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Bells on Christmas Day Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Merry Christmas Sign

With all the craziness going on these days, this poem has sprung to my mind as quite appropriate this year. It is very touching and inspiring.

A Bit of Background

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was grief stricken when his wife died tragically in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out the same year. Two years later, Longfellow learned that his own son had been seriously wounded in the Army of the Potomac. Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing.  This was the setting in which Longfellow wrote the following lines, which would be called, Bells on Christmas Day.

Bells on Christmas Day Poem

I heard the bells on Christmas DayHenry Wadsworth Longfellow author of 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!”

— Pulpit Helps, 12-92, p. 23

Sitting by a fire in the fireplace“It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, ‘God Bless Us, Every One‘”

Read more about Mr. Longfellow: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Biography

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

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