It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Words by Edmund H. Sears, 1849
Tune: CAROL, by Richard S. Willis, 1850
Key signature: B flat major (2 flats)
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, good will to men, 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, They bend on hov’ring wing, And ever over 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 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.
4. 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!
5. For lo! the days are hast’ning on, By prophet-bards foretold, 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.
5 alternate. For lo! the days are hast’ning on, By prophet-bards foretold, When with the ever circling years Comes round the age of gold; When peace shall over all the earth Its ancient splendors fling, And the whole world send back the song Which now the angels sing.