The words of this hymn are more typically heard at Christmas time, but this summer they seem to hold special poignance for people in the U.S. and for people around the world.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (verses 1–3)
It came upon a 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.
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 hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long,
Beneath the heavenly strain have rolled two thousand years of wrong.
And man, at war with man, hears not the tidings which they bring.
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.
—Edmund Hamilton Sears, 1846