Posted by: Jim E | December 16, 2019

Christmas Bells, Longfellow and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”…


December is a wonderful time of year…though, as I remember when I was young, many things happened in December that were hard…I can Christmas Eve snowremember the thought of how can we have Christmas when all this sadness is going on…I guess I thought that other months of the year didn’t bring on as much loss as December did…I was wrong of course, but it was a true feeling I had when I was young…
This morning (12/19/15) when I picked up Our Daily Bread, a daily devotion I use everyday, there was an interesting and helpful story Christmas 2015that relates to that feeling…called “The Seventh Stanza”…it is about the America poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and what is now a Christmas Carol called “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”…he titledChristmas Day, I Heard the Bells
his poem at the time “Christmas Bells”…it later was set to music…the short article was historically interesting as well as the message of the poem…read the link to this “Our Daily Bread”…then the entire poem, including the stanzas about the Civil War, which was still being fought as he wrote…it will give new meaning to “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”…and the great expectation and hope that still remains for all of us during difficult times…
“Christmas Bells”
(The original poem, complete with all seven stanzas)
“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!”


  1. What a great post! 🙂

    • Thanks W.S…so good to read some of your blogs again…a bit of stress around here this week…and needed some downtime…it was so good to see birds, plants and just “good stuff” to see and think about…it lets us all know how small we really are and how much we need to “see” things around us that helps lower our blood pressure and or anxieties…thanks again…will be going back to your blog again for an attitude adjustment from time to time…

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