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It came upon the midnight clear (Noel)


Arthur Sullivan


Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810-1876)


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 over its Babel sounds
  the blesséd 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;
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.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
  by prophet-bards foretold,
when with the ever circling years
  comes round the age of gold;
when peace shall over all the earth
  its ancient splendours fling,
and the whole world send back the song
  which now the angels sing.


It came upon - (Noel) Sullivan

Created 15-Sep-08

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear is a poem written by Edmund Sears, pastor of the Unitarian Church in Weston, Massachusetts. It first appeared on December 29, 1849 in the Christian Register in Boston.

Sears is said to have written these words at the request of his friend, W. P. Lunt, a minister in Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1850 Richard Storrs Willis, a composer who trained under Felix Mendelssohn, wrote the melody called "Carol". "Carol" is the most widely-known tune to the song in the USA. In the UK the tune called "Noel", which was adapted from an English melody in 1874 by Arthur Sullivan, is the usual accompaniment.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metasyntactic variable".

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It came upon the midnight clear (Carol) - Richard S. Willis Joy to the world the Lord is come - Lowell Mason