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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810–1876)

Peace on Earth

IT came upon the midnight clear,

That glorious song of old,

From angels bending near the earth,

To touch their harps of gold:

“Peace on the earth, good-will to men,”

From heaven’s all-gracious King;

The world in solemn stillness lay

To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,

With peaceful wings unfurled,

And still their heavenly music floats

O’er all the weary world;

Above its sad and lowly plains

They bend on hovering wing,

And ever o’er its Babel-sounds

The blessèd angels sing.

Yet, with the woes of sin and strife,

The world has suffered long;

Beneath the angel-strain have rolled

Two thousand years of wrong;

And man, at war with man, hears not

The love-song which they bring:

O hush the noise, ye men of strife,

And hear the angels sing!

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,

Whose forms are bending low,

Who toil along the climbing way,

With painful steps and slow,—

Look now, for glad and golden hours

Come swiftly on the wing:

O rest beside the weary road

And hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days are hastening on,

By prophet-bards foretold,

When with the ever-circling years

Comes round the age of gold:

When peace shall over all the earth

Its ancient splendors fling,

And the whole world send back the song

Which now the angels sing.