141. It Came upon the Midnight Clear

1 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, to all good will
from heaven's all-gracious king!"
The world in solemn stillness lay,
to hear the angels sing.

2 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
bend on hovering wing,
and ever o'er its Babel sounds
the blessed angels sing.

3 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 we amid our wars hear not
the words of peace they bring;
O listen now, and still your strife
to hear the angels sing.

4 And you, 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.

5 For lo, the days are hastening on,
by prophets seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold:
when the new heaven and earth shall own
the Prince of Peace their King,
and the whole world send back the song
which now the angels sing.

Text Information
First Line: It came upon the midnight clear
Title: It Came upon the Midnight Clear
Author: Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810-1876)
Publication Date: 1998
Meter: CMD
Scripture: Isaiah 9:1-7; Luke 2:1-20
Topic: Christmas; Epiphany
Tune Information
Name: NOEL
Arranger: Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900)
Meter: CMD
Key: F Major or modal
Source: English trad.



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