The Unbroken Song

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out the same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to learn that his own son had been seriously wounded in the Army of the Potomac.


Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing. It was in this setting that Longfellow wrote these lines:

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!”

— Pulpit Helps, 12-92, p. 23


hugs n’ added blessing to all those bringing peace on earth, good will to men.


6 thoughts on “The Unbroken Song

  1. The realities we live in are not new to our world. Unfortunately, we re-live the same problems with the same temporary solutions that allow the cycles to repeat themselves. For some reason, we have a difficult time accepting this reality. You can’t change something (for the better) if you don’t recognize the flaws in the design of the game plan.

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prayers indeed for those away from home on foreign fields of service. The scripture in its true rendering in many bible versions but more particularly in the expanded or highlighted is really Peace on Earth and Good Will to those living according to God’s Purposes. This Peace is not of the anti-warfare kind but the Inner Peace that nothing absolutely nothing can destroy. This is the Peace that cries out in the midst of life’s darkest hours You are a Child of God! Thank God for the remembrance of Jesus’ Birth. The LIGHT indeed that dispels all darkness. May you and your family experience in every way His Peace, Joy, Hope and Love as you celebrate. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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