Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
324. The Angels’ Song
 
By Edmund Hamilton Sears
 
 
IT came upon the midnight clear,
    That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
    To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace to the earth, good-will to men        5
    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;        10
And still their heavenly music floats
    O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
    They bend on heavenly wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds        15
    The blessed angels sing.
 
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
    The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
    Two thousand years of wrong;        20
And man, at war with man, hears not
    The love-song which they bring:
O, hush the noise, ye men of strife,
    And hear the angels sing!
 
And ye, beneath life’s crushing load        25
    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;        30
O, rest beside the weary road,
    And hear the angels sing.
 
For lo! the days are hastening on,
    By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years        35
    Comes round the age of gold;
When Peace shall over all the earth
    Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
    Which now the angels sing.        40
 

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