362

It came upon the midnight clear

It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
‘Through all the earth, good will and peace
from heaven’s all-gracious King!’
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.

2. With sorrow brought by sin and strife
the world has suffered long
and, since the angels sang, have passed
two thousand years of wrong:
the nations, still at war, hear not
the love-song which they bring:
O hush the noise and cease the strife,
to hear the angels sing!

3. And those beneath life’s crushing load,
whose hope is burning low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow-
look up! for songs of joy and peace
through all the heavens ring!
O rest beside the weary road
and hear the angels sing!

4. And still the days are hastening on-
by prophets seen of old-
towards the fulness of the time
when comes the age foretold:
then earth and heaven renewed shall see
the Prince of peace, their King;
and all the world repeat the song
which now the angels sing.

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