I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Ein Weihnachtslied, das Henry Longfellow 1864 im amerikanischen Bürgerkrieg geschrieben hat. Nachdem seine Frau im Krieg starb und sein Sohn schwer verletzt wurde, schrieb er unter dem Eindruck des Klangs der Weihnachtsglocken diese Verse. Der amerikanische Dichter und Professor an der Harvard-Universität bringt darin seine Sehnsucht nach einem friedlichen Miteinander zum Ausdruck. Es wird heute in mehreren Fassungen vertont als Weihnachtslied gesungen.

Text (Christmas Bells)

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet
The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along
The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound
The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn
The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
„There is no peace on earth,“ I said;

„For hate is strong,
And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!“

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
„God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.“