Merry Christmas!

During the 1860s, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow supported abolitionism and especially hoped for reconciliation between the northern and southern states after the American Civil War. When his son was injured during the war, he wrote the poem “Christmas Bells”, later the basis of the carol I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. He wrote in his journal in 1878: “I have only one desire; and that is for harmony, and a frank and honest understanding between North and South” **

bells-1028706_960_720Christmas Bells

Poem 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!”

**Information from Wikipedia.

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