The Christmas bells! What glad wild notes
They fling against the wintry sky,
And how their clanging iron throats
Catch back the echoes ere they die!
For many hundred years ago
Was born into this world below,
A humble Babe―a mighty King―
Whom endless praise the angels sing,
While men adore.
The new year’s chimes! One mournful bell
Booms sadly from the still church tower;
It tolls the old year’s parting knell,
It tells the old year’s dying hour!
But, suddenly the hills around
Vibrate again the merry sound
Of bells, that on the night air break,
Bidding all thankful hearts awake,
The glad world o’er.
Another peal! A week has fled,
Again the merry bells are heard;
And the old rafters overhead
Seem in their dust and cobwebs stirred;
For, through Old England’s breadth and length,
All hearts, all tongues unite their strength,
To tell how smiles on England’s heir
A little infant soft and fair,
His first born son.
We do not know what joy may here
Upon his onward path be shed,
But this we pray, that each new year
May pour new blessings on his head!
And as each Christmastide comes round,
May he more Christian-like be found,
Till, full of honors, full of days,
He passes to the life of praise,
On earth begun.