Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Christmas Carol

   Ring out, ye bells!
   All Nature swells
With gladness at the wondrous story,—
   The world was lorn,
   But Christ is born
To change our sadness into glory.

   Sing, earthlings, sing!
   To-night a King
Hath come from heaven's high throne to bless us.
   The outstretched hand
   O'er all the land
Is raised in pity to caress us.

   Come at his call;
   Be joyful all;
Away with mourning and with sadness!
   The heavenly choir
   With holy fire
Their voices raise in songs of gladness.

   The darkness breaks
   And Dawn awakes,
Her cheeks suffused with youthful blushes.
   The rocks and stones
   In holy tones
Are singing sweeter than the thrushes.

   Then why should we
   In silence be,
When Nature lends her voice to praises;
   When heaven and earth
   Proclaim the truth
Of Him for whom that lone star blazes?

   No, be not still,
   But with a will
Strike all your harps and set them ringing;
   On hill and heath
   Let every breath
Throw all its power into singing!

Credit


This poem appeared in The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1922). It is in the public domain.

Author


Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar, born in 1872 and the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, was one of the first African American poets to gain national recognition.

Date Published: 2017-12-07

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/christmas-carol-2