lyrics for "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:
``Peace on earth, good will to men*, from heaven's all gracious King.''
The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled,
and still their heavenly music floats o'er all the weary world;
above its sad and lowly plains, they bend on hovering wing,
and ever o'er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.

And ye, beneath life's crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow,
look now! for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old,
when with the ever circling years shall come the time foretold
when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling,
and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.

* ``all'' may be substituted

words: Edmund H. Sears, 1849 (Luke 2:8-14)
music: Richard Storrs Willis, 1850

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