O Little Town of Bethlehem! -Phillips Brooks - December 13
- Friday, December 13, 2013
Phillips Brooks was born DECEMBER 13, 1835. The bishop of the Episcopal Church in Massachusetts, Brooks is best remembered for a song he wrote two years after the Civil War, which goes: "O little town of Bethlehem! How still we see thee lie; Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, The silent stars go by; Yet in thy dark streets shineth, The everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years, Are met in thee tonight." At Harvard, Phillips Brooks was taught by Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. President Jimmy Carter referred to Longfellow while seeking U.N. sanctions against Iran, December 21, 1979, stating: "Henry Longfellow wrote a Christmas carol in a time of crisis, the War Between the States, in 1864. Two verses of that carol particularly express my thoughts and prayers and, I'm sure, those of our Nation in this time of challenge..." Carter continued "I would like to quote from that poem '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 pealed the bells, more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor does he sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.'"
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