Discussion in '1800-1914' started by RabidAlien, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Apr 27, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hurst, Texas
    While I'm vaguely familiar with the name Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (American poet, 1807-1882), I really had no idea what he went through in his life (enough tragedy for three poets, I think!), and was kinda surprised to hear that one of his more well-recognized poems, turned into a Christmas carol, had two extra verses that most people have no clue about...mainly because they're not upbeat and Christmas-y and are therefore generally not included with the rest of the lyrics. This was written during the Civil War, when he found out that his son had been wounded in battle. With the two extra verses included, the poem takes on an entirely different meaning.

    Christmas Bells

    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."

    -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    25 Dec 1864

Share This Page