Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

Christmas Bells - Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"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!"

Comments about Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • (12/25/2016 12:52:00 PM)

    .....extraordinary with a beautiful rhythm ★ (Report) Reply

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  • Madhabi Banerjee (12/25/2016 12:15:00 PM)

    mary christmas.a loving poem. my favourite (Report) Reply

  • Seamus O' Brian (12/25/2016 12:01:00 PM)

    An eternally hopeful poem about an eternal hope we celebrate each Christmas. Peace on earth, goodwill toward men. Let it begin with me today. (Report) Reply

  • Baharak Barzin (12/25/2016 11:23:00 AM)

    Maryy Christmas i like it (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (12/25/2016 8:39:00 AM)

    a good message of peace and goodwill if not good will win? (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (12/25/2016 5:35:00 AM)

    Of peace on earth, good-will to men! wonderfully written (Report) Reply

  • Ravi A (12/25/2016 3:03:00 AM)

    Christmas has been symbolized as embodiment of peace in this poem. When the season is ringing in with peace, the poet is hearing the thundering sound of cannon in the South and for a moment is lost in despair and in thoughts that the prevalence of Peace on earth is only a far fetching reality. Though from optimism to pessimism he sways, at last he gains grounds in being optimistic at the ringing of the bells once again. The poet reconciles with the idea that god is after all not dead nor has fallen asleep. So, there is yet a ray of hope for revival of mankind. A grand vision indeed. (Report) Reply

  • Spock The Vegan (12/11/2015 11:21:00 AM)

    Lovely poem - another favorite. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: peace, christmas, song, despair, hate, sleep, world, god, night

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

Poem Edited: Sunday, December 25, 2011

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