Friday, December 14, 2012

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.”

Christmas Bells

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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."


Mindy said...

Praying those bells and that last verse rings loud and clear in our land. We cling to His hope.

Kellie said...

So lovely -- thank you for posting. It's a reminder we need daily.

We are finishing up MCT's The Music of the Hemispheres this week and I think this poem and song would be a great ending to our poetry study and beautiful transition from school-mode to truly celebrating Christmas.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

We studied the entire poem in my Victorian Literature class (of which the 4 verses in the song are just a TINY part).

The writer's best friend committed suicide. This poem shows both his dispair over that death, and how, as the coming years continue and Christmas comes again, he finally (after about 4 years) feels hope in God again. It takes him time to heal, though. The first 3 Christmases after that were very difficult for him. The fourth is hard, too, but he begins to grow again in his faith in God.