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Age-old message still resonates today

Monday, December 24, 2012

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had just lost his wife, Frances, in an accidental fire, when he received word that his son, Charles Appleton Longfellow, had been severely wounded in the Civil War -- he had enlisted in the Union Army without his father's blessing.

He was moved to write the following poem, its message of hope as relevant today as it when he wrote it, on Christmas Day 1863:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

and mild 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."

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Peace on Earth, the storys are told

Yet many a soldier stands in the cold

Weapon ready, for an enemy to sight

For yet, there'll be more war tonight

We sing and dance, give presents dear

As the price of freedom, rings so clear

We wonder why a veteran has no legs

Growl, 'Get a job,' when ere he begs

For Peace on Earth, there is a trick

Speak very softly, but carry big Stick

Then, Right will win, Wrong will loose

Safe in our beds, we all can snooze.

Jesus came to give peace to men

The kind of peace, no war can win

If every soul would love God's way

We'd have Peace on Earth, every day.


-- Posted by Navyblue on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 5:33 PM

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