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Christmas bells at sea

Still the night and calm the ocean,
Dazzling bright each wintry star;
Scarcely felt the vessel's motion,
When we heard from out afar
Softly pealing,
Gently stealing,
Silv'ry bells in volleys ringing,
Ringing out in holy glee;
E'en to us glad tidings bringing,
Christmas bells at sea.

Wrapt in awe around them gazing,
Mute the crew in wonder stand,
Whence could come those sounds amazing,
Far from sight or sound of land?
Rising, falling,
Home recalling,
Thoughts of home and heaven bringing,
Sure a solemn mystery
‘Twas to hear their silv'ry ringing,
Christmas Bells at sea.

Vain Thy ways, O Heaven, to measure;
Who Thy secrets can divine?
In our hearts enough to treasure
Tokens of Thy love benign.
Where no steeple
calls its people
Tidings of a Saviour bringing,
Angel hands are set by Thee
From a cloud-built belfry ringing
Christmas Bells at sea.

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