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Christmas Bells (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
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One of America's best known poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), contributed to the wealth of carols sung each Christmas season, when he composed the words to "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" on December 25th 1864. "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14).

The carol was originally a poem, "Christmas Bells," containing seven stanzas. Two stanzas were omitted, which contained references to the American Civil War, thus giving us the carol in its present form.

Here is the original poem, complete with all seven stanzas:

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."

Hi! I'm Isabella and I'm three years old and I'm going to recite '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!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And from the sound
The carols drowned
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, He does not sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men".

... 'Christmas Bells' by Henry Wadsworh Longfellow...  Merry Christmas! Bye, bye.

The lesson of ‘The Christmas Bells’ is that though it may not seem so at times, hope awaits, patiently, sometimes unseen, for those who faithfully persevere.

So listen for the bells...  they’re ringing.  They’re always ringing, just waiting for us to listen... and have hope.

2:09            
 
 

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