The Christmas Bells

“Then pealed the bells loud and deep”

The year I861 was a sad year for Henry Wadsworth


In the month of July, his wife, Fanny, who he dearly

Loved, had been sealing a keepsake lock of their

Daughter’s hair in wax, when a gust of wind blew

Through the window causing her dress to catch fire.

Longfellow severely burned his face and hands

Attempting to save her, but Fanny’s burns were so

Severe she died the next day.

In the year 1864 his son was injured in the Civil War.

Christmas of that year, in despair he wrote this

Famous carol –

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day”

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, good will

To men.”

He had good reason to question if

There would ever be peace for him.

But then this great poet wrote

These words of cheer –

“Then pealed the bells more loud

And deep

“God is not dead nor does He sleep,

The wrong shall fail, the right


With peace on earth, good will to


In this year of 2020, as Christmas

is nearing,

Little did we know of the despair

And loss we would be facing,

And perhaps in our questionings,

I might venture to say in humble words**


“I heard the bells on Christmas


How I yearned for peace to be

Where’re I look it seems so far

Struggles and doubt never cease

And as I bow on this dismal eve,

To me are only tears to weep”


“Then once more I heard the

Bells, loud and clear

Angels touching the earth

With harps of gold, bending

Near with songs of hope

God is still here, He does not sleep

Our grief will end, our pain removed

“Peace on earth, good will to men”

**But certainly not equal

Portions of this descriptive article on Longfellow
Is taken from ‘A Slice Of Infinity’ I Heard The Bells
By Betsy Childs

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