Tag Archive: peace


It came upon the midnight clear

The third verse strikes me as most poignant including the line “Man at war with man”. There seems to me to always be some new conflict, or a flaring up of an old one, around Christmas time despite the angels song of “Peace and goodwill”.

Let’s hope more people do take time to stop and hear the angels’ song.

IT CAME UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR

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, goodwill 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 blessèd angels sing.
 
Yet with 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.
 
For lo! the days are hastening 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 splendours fling,
And all the world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.
 
Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810-1876)

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Far beyond the stars

I have found that reading a poem out loud does two things: it makes us slow down and as a consequence helps us to take it in. It also forces us to make sense of it – we decide where to pause, to break the flow or to continue; and sometimes discover a meaning that crosses more than one line of a verse.

A poem by Henry Vaughn (1622-95)

Peace

My soul, there is a country
Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
All skilful in the wars:
There, above noise and danger,
Sweet Peace sits crown’d with smiles,
And One born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.
He is thy gracious Friend,
And—O my soul, awake!—
Did in pure love descend
To die here for thy sake.
If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flower of Peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress, and thy ease.
Leave then thy foolish ranges;
For none can thee secure
But One who never changes—
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.

But I don’t think peace is only found beyond the stars.

Prayers for peace

O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both, our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that, by thee, we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)

Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all, the true love of peace and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth that in tranquillity your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Common Worship)

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