Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882)

Christmas Bells is a poem about a Christmas in the American Civil War period when people who did not go to war could not enjoy this celebration at the thought of the constant peril in which their relatives/friends were in as they fought in the war.

The rhyme pattern used in this poem is AABBC which means that all the lines rhyme except of the last one. A sentence that is repeated over and over again in every stanza is: "Of peace on earth, good-will to men!" The poem sounds like a chant.

In the 4th stanza the horrid event that ended the "good feeling" of Christmas was the cannons being fired that made so much "noise" that it was impossible to carol.

Some sensory images used in this poem are: "I heard the bells on Christmas Day" "The cannon thundered in the South," and "Then pealed the bells more loud and deep."

A personification used is: "Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South,"