I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

After his son was severely wounded in the Civil War, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this poem. It was later joined with an 1872 melody composed by Englishman John Baptiste Calkin.


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.

I thought, as now this day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rung so long the unbroken song
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."

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