It Came Upon The Midnight Clear – Noël

Edmund Sears was an American Unitarian parish minister. In 1849, after a breakdown, and with global revolution and war uppermost in his mind, he wrote the poem ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear’.

In Commonwealth countries, ‘It Came Upon The Midnight Clear’ is sung to a tune called “Noël”, which was adapted from an English melody in 1874 by Arthur Sullivan.

(In America, ‘‘It Came Upon The Midnight Clear’ is commonly sung to a melody called ‘Carol’ by composer Richard Storrs Willis.)

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 the 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.

But with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
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,
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; –
Oh, 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
Shall come the age of gold;
When Peace shall over all the earth,
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song,
Which now the angels sing.

“It Came Upon The Midnight Clear – Wikipedia”. 2022. En.Wikipedia.Org.