CADDManager on December 25th, 2007

Christmas Bells – by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1864)

As with any composition that touches the heart of the hearer, this poem flowed from the experience of Longfellow. When Longfellow penned the words to this poem, America was still embroiled in it’s Civil War and months away from Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9th 1865. His poem reflected the prior years of the war’s despair, while ending with a confident hope of triumphant peace. Longfellow had also experience tragedy — involving the tragic death of his wife Fanny and the crippling injury of his son Charles from war wounds.

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!

And in despair I bowed my head;

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