It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
(the four verses we never seem to hear)
Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats o'er all the weary world
Above the sad and lowly plains they bend on hovering wing
and ever o'er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife, the world hath 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;
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 shall come the Age of Gold
When peace shall over all the earth its heavenly splendors fling
And all the world give back the song that now the angels sing.
Edmund Hamilton Sears, 1810-1876