Christmas Carols in Prose #14: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Sculpture of old bells from the Sterkrade bell-tower ("Glocken aus dem Glockenturm in Sterkrade, als Denkmal vor dem Bahnhof aufgehangen"). Photo by Anne-theatre. CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Sculpture of old bells from the Sterkrade bell-tower. Photo by Anne-theatre. CC-BY-SA 3.0.

On Christmas day I heard the bells play their old familiar carols, and they repeated wildly and sweetly the words “peace on earth, good will to men.”

I thought how at the coming of day the Christian world’s belfries had rolled along the unbroken song, “Peace on earth, good will to men.”

I bowed my head in despair. I said, “There is no peace on earth, for hate is strong. It mocks the song of ‘Peace on earth, good will to men.'”

Then the bells pealed louder and deeper: “God isn’t dead or asleep. The wrong will fail, and the right will prevail with ‘peace on earth, good will to men.'”

The bells pealed until the world revolved from night to day, ringing and singing as a voice, a chime, and a sublime chant of “peace on earth, good will to men!”

[Original Text: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

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