I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Representative Text

1 I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace of earth, good will to men.

2 I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th'unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

3 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."

4 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."

5 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.

Baptist Hymnal, 1991

Author: Henry W. Longfellow

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth , D.C.L. was born at Portland, Maine, Feb. 27, 1807, and graduated at Bowdoin College, 1825. After residing in Europe for four years to qualify for the Chair of Modern Languages in that College, he entered upon the duties of the same. In 1835 he removed to Harvard, on his election as Professor of Modern Languages and Belles-Lettres. He retained that Professorship to 1854. His literary reputation is great, and his writings are numerous and well known. His poems, many of which are as household words in all English-speaking countries, display much learning and great poetic power. A few of these poems and portions of others have come into common use as hymns, but a hymn-writer in the strict sense of that term he… Go to person page >

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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #98
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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #98

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