December 20, 2012

Christmas Bells

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--Description: 19th C, Longfellow H.W., Christianity, Christmas, Holidays--


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!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of 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!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
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 pealed 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.”


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


--Did You Know: (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) Henry W. Longellow was an American educator and poet whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and "Evangeline". He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy and was one of the five Fireside Poets.Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, then part of Massachusetts, and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, living the remainder of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a former headquarters of George Washington. His first wife, Mary Potter, died in 1835 after a miscarriage. His second wife, Frances Appleton, died in 1861 after sustaining burns from her dress catching fire. After her death, Longfellow had difficulty writing poetry for a time and focused on his translation. He died in 1882. Longfellow predominantly wrote lyric poems which are known for their musicality and which often presented stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. He has been criticized, however, for imitating European styles and writing specifically for the masses. Read more at: Henry W. Longfellow

--Word of the Day: numinous \NOO-min-us; NYOO-\, adjective:
1. Of or pertaining to a numen; supernatural.
2. Filled with or characterized by a sense of a supernatural presence.
3. Inspiring awe and reverence; spiritual.
Example:
Smoking is a ritual, and it has all the numinous force of a ritual.
-- Thomas W. Laqueur, The New Republic, September 18, 1995

--Quote of the Day: A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away.
~Eva Logue

--Language Arts-SPANISH: anfitrión, noun / host

Both Spanish and English share many words derived from Greek or Latin. El anfitrión, host, comes from Greek, and is a word which English doesn’t have. In fact, it derives from a person’s name (just as sandwich derives from a real person, the Earl of Sandwich). In Greek mythology, Amphitrion was king of the Greek city of Thebes, and was famous for his lavish banquets. Spanish adopted this word ? although the implication that a host is bound to be lavish and generous is no longer necessarily part of the word!

en su calidad de anfitrión
in his capacity as host

el país anfitrión de un Mundial
a country which is hosting a World Cup

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