Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Despair and hope at Christmas

December 23, 2004

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th’unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
‘There is no peace on earth,’
I said ‘For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.’

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.’

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

— Henry W. Longfellow

In 1863, Longfellow’s son, a lieutenant in the Army of the Potomac (Union, American Civil War), was seriously wounded in battle. This event inspired Longfellow to write this poem.

As I had come to loathe Sundays, I had come to loathe Christmas in Chicago UBF, another insane numbers-fest. The lowest point and the highest point must have been Christmas of 2000 after it became known that Sam Lee was even more of a monster than I had come to consider him. The lowest point was realizing conclusively that I had been in a cult for most of my life. The highest point was that Christmas (and my future) became decoupled from UBF. Christmas became meaningful again.

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When Unrepentant Evil Calls for Peace and Unity

December 12, 2003

Something that you won’t find in Peter Jackson’s “vision” of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy:

“‘We will have peace’ said Theoden at last thickly and with an effort. Several of the Riders cried out gladly. Theoden held up his hand. ‘Yes, we will have peace’, he said, now in a clear voice, ‘we will have peace, when you and all your works have perished – and the works of your dark master to which you would deliver us. You are a liar, Saruman, and a corrupter of men’s hearts. You hold out your hand to me, and I perceive only a finger of the claw of Mordor. Cruel and cold! Even if your war on me was just – as it was not, for were you ten times as wise you would have no right to rule me and mine for your own profit as you desired — even so, what will you say of your torches in Westfold and the children that lie dead there? And they hewed Hama’s body before the gates of the Hornburg, after he was dead. When you hang from a gibbet at your window for the sport of your own crows, I will have peace with you and Orthanc. So much for the House of Eorl. A lesser son of great sires am I, but I do not need to lick your fingers. Turn elsewhither. But I fear your voice has lost its charm.'” (From “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”)