advent: carols

Christmas Day 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 57 year old widowed father of six children, the oldest nearly paralyzed during the civil war, wrote a poem capturing the dissonance in his own heart and in the world around him.

This timeless carol is one of my favorites. May you also find hope and peace this day.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And mild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, goodwill 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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