Scripture Verse

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


Harriet M. Kimball

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


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!