Thursday, December 1, 2011

Calm on the Listening Ear of Night

1. Calm on the listening ear of night

Come heaven's melodious strains,

Where wild Judea stretch'ed far

Her silver mantled plains.

2. Celestial choirs from courts above

Shed sacred glories there;

And angels, with their sparkling lyres,

Make music on the air.

3. The answering hills of Palestine

Send back the glad reply;

And greet, from all their holy heights,
The Dayspring* from on high.

4. O'er the blue depths of Galilee**

There comes a holier calm,

And Sharon*** waves, in solemn praise,

Her silent groves of palm.

5. "Glory to God!" the sounding skies

Loud with their anthems ring,

"Peace to the earth, good will to men,

From heaven's eternal King!"

6. Light on thy hills, Jerusalem!

The Savior now is born:

More bright on Bethlehem's joyous plains

Breaks the first Christmas morn.

---Edmund Hamilton Sears, 1834 (abridged)

*Dayspring: a poetic expression of "The Rising Sun", specifically the Messiah come to earth. From Luke 1:78, the Song of Zechariah at the birth of his son, John the Baptist. John was born to prepare the way of Jesus, the Messiah.

**The Sea of Galilee, up in the northern region of the Holy Land.

***Plain of Sharon: a lush coastal plain in Israel, between Joppa to the south & Mt. Carmel to the north.

Photo still from "The Nativity Story" (c) 2006