Our American Holidays - Christmas/Christmas Song

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CHRISTMAS SONG

EDMUND HAMILTON SEARS

Calm on the listening ear of night
   Come heaven's melodious strains,
Where wild Judea stretches far
   Her silver-mantled plains;
Celestial choirs from courts above
   Shed sacred glories there;
And angels with their sparkling lyres
   Make music on the air.

The answering hills of Palestine
   Send back the glad reply,
And greet from all their holy heights
   The day-spring from on high:
O'er the blue depths of Galilee
   There comes a holier calm,
And Sharon waves, in solemn praise,
   Her silent groves of palm.

"Glory to God!" The lofty strain
   The realm of ether fills:
How sweeps the song of solemn joy
   O'er Judah's sacred hills!
"Glory to God!" The sounding skies
   Loud with their anthems ring;
"Peace on the earth; good-will to men,
   From heaven's eternal King!"

Light on thy hills, Jerusalem!
   The Saviour now is born:
More bright on Bethlehem's joyous plains
   Breaks the first Christmas morn;
And brighter on Moriah's brow,
   Crowned with her temple-spires,
Which first proclaim the new-born light,
   Clothed with its Orient fires.

This day shall Christian lips be mute.
   And Christian hearts be cold?
Oh, catch the anthem that from heaveu
   O'er Judah's mountains rolled!
When nightly burst from seraph-harps
   The high and solemn lay,—
"Glory to God! on earth be peace;
   Salvation comes to-day!"