Scripture Verse

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14


Harriet M. Kimball (1834–1917)

Words: Har­ri­et M. Kim­ball, Po­ems (New York: An­son D. F. Ran­dolph, 1889), pag­es 90–92.

Music: Me­ri­bah Lo­well Ma­son, 1839 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Lowell Mason (1792–1872)


Peace and good will, good will and peace!
Year after year with sweet in­crease
The heav’n­ly ca­rol swells:
The ho­ly tale of Je­su’s birth
In ev­er wid­en­ing cir­cles earth
With tongues un­num­bered tells.

Once more the vi­sion glo­ri­fied
Appears with bless­èd Christ­mas­tide—
The vir­gin full of grace;
And in her arms the Child di­vine,
The God-Man born of Da­vid’s line,
New head of Ad­am’s race.

The ve­ry na­ture that we wear,
His God­head veiled, He stoops to share
In great hu­mi­li­ty;
And an­gel le­gions round Him close
And Heav’n with bound­less praise o’er­flows
That such a love could be.

But nei­ther round His in­fant brow
The crown of thorns (pre-wov­en now)
Created eyes be­hold;
Nor in those in­fant arms that reach
In mute ap­peal, in lieu of speech,
The cross those arms in­fold.

Yet crown of thorns and ho­ly rood
(The tree of life, the mys­tic wood),
His spot­less sac­ri­fice,
His ang­uish and His tri­umph, all
Are sha­dowed here in Beth­le­hem’s stall
Though hid­den from our eyes.

Here, too, be­gins His won­drous reign;
Confessors, mar­tyrs, lead His train
Of hum­ble souls and pure;
Not of this world His king­dom is;
All oth­ers fade away, but His
Forever shall en­dure.

His sword is truth, His ar­mor love;
His Spir­it as a ten­der dove
Broods o’er this trou­bled life;
He pi­ties, par­dons, strength­ens, feeds;
He binds the break­ing heart that bleeds;
To peace trans­form­eth strife.

Where’er the Ma­rah wa­ters spring
Of want or wrong or suf­fer­ing
And men of Him en­treat,
His cross all crim­soned with His blood
He casts in­to the bit­ter flood
And makes those wa­ters sweet.

Peace and good will, good will and peace!
What won­der that with glad in­crease
The heav’n­ly ca­rol swells;
And on the sto­ry of His birth
In ever wid­en­ing cir­cles earth
With won­der­ing rap­ture dwells!