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 heavens 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 blessed angels sing.
O 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;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.
The carol is about the visit of the angels to the shepherds in the field. The angels were sent to declare tidings of great joy unto all people. The shepherds were then instructed to go to the City of David (Bethlehem). They went in haste to see this thing that was declared unto them and were able to praise the name of God for seeing the Messiah.
The third verse invites all of us to stop for a moment no matter where we are in life and listen. When we listen we can hear the angels sing. The tidings of great joy are there for us to hear and follow if we will but listen.
The fourth verse talks about the whole world sending back the song the angels sing. The song? It is this:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men
May we all learn to sing the song the angels sung of Christ’s birth.