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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Christmas Song

By Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810–1876)

[Born in Sandisfield, Mass., 1810. Died at Weston, Mass., 1876.]

CALM on the listening ear of night

Come Heaven’s melodious strains,

Where wild Judea stretches far

Her silver-mantled plains;

Celestial choirs from courts above

Shed sacred glories there;

And angels with their sparkling lyres

Make music on the air.

The answering hills of Palestine

Send back the glad reply,

And greet from all their holy heights

The day-spring from on high:

O’er the blue depths of Galilee

There comes a holier calm,

And Sharon waves, in solemn praise,

Her silent groves of palm.

“Glory to God!” The lofty strain

The realm of ether fills:

How sweeps the song of solemn joy

O’er Judah’s sacred hills!

“Glory to God!” The sounding skies

Loud with their anthems ring:

“Peace on the earth; good-will to men,

From Heaven’s eternal king!”

Light on thy hills, Jerusalem!

The Saviour now is born:

More bright on Bethlehem’s joyous plains

Breaks the first Christmas morn;

And brighter on Moriah’s brow,

Crowned with her temple-spires,

Which first proclaim the new-born light,

Clothed with its Orient fires.

This day shall Christian lips be mute,

And Christian hearts be cold?

Oh, catch the anthem that from Heaven

O’er Judah’s mountains rolled!

When nightly burst from seraph-harps

The high and solemn lay,—

“Glory to God! on earth be peace;

Salvation comes to-day!”