It Came Upon a 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, good will to men, 
from heaven’s all-gracious King.” 
The world in solemn stillness lay, 
to hear the angels sing. 

Nativity, by Giovanni benedetto Castiglione, c. 17th century. Musei di Strada Nuova, Genova, Italy. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
Nativity, by Giovanni benedetto Castiglione, c. 17th century. Musei di Strada Nuova, Genova, Italy.

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. 

The Adoration of the Shepherds, by Guido Reni, c. 1640. National Gallery, London, United Kingdom. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
The Adoration of the Shepherds, by Guido Reni, c. 1640. National Gallery, London, United Kingdom.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, 
whose forms are bending low, 
who toil along the climbing way 
with painful steps and slow, 
look now! for glad and golden hours 
come swiftly on the wing. 
O rest beside the weary road, 
and hear the angels sing! 

Madonna and Child with Angels, by Giovanni dal Ponte, c. 1410s. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, United States. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
Madonna and Child with Angels, by Giovanni dal Ponte, c. 1410s. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, United States.

For lo! the days are hastening on, 
by prophet seen of old, 
when with the ever-circling years 
shall come the time foretold 
when peace shall over all the earth 
its ancient splendors fling, 
and the whole world send back the song 
which now the angels sing.

This is the third part of a twelve-part series illustrating classic Christmas carols with classic religious for the twelve days of Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of three, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer

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