Our American Holidays - Christmas/The Glorious Song of Old

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It came upon the midnight clear,
     That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
     To touch their harps of gold,
"Peace on the earth, good-will to men,
     From heaven’s all-gracious King"—
The world in solemn stillness lay
     To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come.
     With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
     O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
     They bend on hovering wing.
And ever o’er its Babel-sounds
     The blessed angels sing.

But with the woes of sin and strife
     The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
     Two thousand years of wrong.
And man at war with man hears not
     The love-song which they bring;
Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife,
     And hear the angels sing!

And ye beneath life's crushing load,
     Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
     With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
     Come swiftly on the wing:—
Oh, rest beside the weary road
     And hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days the hastening on
     By prophet-bards foretold,
When the ever-circling years
     Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
     Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
     Which now the angels sing.