Christmas Bells

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Christmas Bells  (1863) 
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
From Flower-de-Luce.


CHRISTMAS BELLS.

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!"

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.