The August Block ~ “Christmas Bells”


Christmas Bells

Bells ring in special occasions, special dates, and herald celebrations around the World. Literature is full of references to bells….as children in school, we had bells to tell us when to go to class, to call us to lunch and in from recess.  Sundays, the bells rang to signal time for Church!

In my studies, I found that one of my favorites, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” was originally a poem written 139 years ago by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Longfellow had lost his beloved wife Fanny, to a fire and his son to the Civil War. His poem titled “Christmas Bells” was written as an expression of his re-born faith in God.

Originally a 7 stanza poem, it was reduced to 5 and set to music by John Baptiste Calkin in 1872. The 2 missing stanzas had references to the Civil War. Here are the 5 we’re most familiar with –

“Christmas Bells”

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat

Of peace on earth, goodwill 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, goodwill 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, goodwill 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, goodwill to men. 

The pealed the bells loud and deep,
God is not dead, nor doeth HE sleep!
The wrong shall fail,
The right shall prevail,
With peace on earth, goodwill to men!

“Christmas Bells” –

Don’t forget to check Judy, Sheryl and Denise’s blogs for the other 3 blocks!!!


9 responses to “The August Block ~ “Christmas Bells”

  1. Beautiful block and a great story. I’ll remember it this Holy season. Thank you.

  2. I did a dramatic reading of this Longfellow poem and so many afterward said how they never really listened to the words before. wonderful poem, full of truth and hope.

    • Welcome! Curves have always terrified me – so this was a stretch. A good experience as the curves go into place so easily. Maybe I’ll finally try a couple of other curved patterns I’ve had for years!