Christmas Bells

by


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's celebratory poem, Christmas Bells (1863) rings in the season beautifully. Adapted as a Christmas carol, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. You might also enjoy Rudyard Kipling's poem Christmas in India.
Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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!"

Featured in our selection of Christmas Stories and 100 Great Poems.

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