We recently enjoyed the annual Festival of Carols at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis. During it we sang this beautiful poem by Eileen Berry entitled “Carol of Joy” (2007, Beckenhorst Press) set to music by Dan Forrest. It’s nearly impossible to add anything substantial to, much less improve upon, the church’s traditional coterie of Christmas hymns but this is a worthy addition:
Green leaves all fallen, withered and dry;
Brief sunset fading, dim winter sky;
Dark closing in…
Then, through the stillness, carols begin!
Oh fallen world, to you is the song!
Death holds you fast and night tarries long.
Jesus is born, your curse to destroy!
Sweet to your ears, a carol of Joy!
Pale moon ascending, solemn and slow;
Cold barren hillside, shrouded in snow;
Deep,empty valley, veiled by the night;
hear angel music–hopeful and bright!
Oh fearful world, to you is the song.
Peace with your God, and pardon for wrong.
Tidings for sinners, burdened and bound,
A carol of joy!
A Savior is found!
Earth wrapped in sorrow, lift up your eyes!
Thrill to the chorus filling the skies.
Look up, sad-hearted. Witness God’s love;
Join in the carol swelling above!
Oh friendless world, to you is the song!
All Heaven’s joy to you may belong!
You who are lonely, laden, forlorn:
Oh fallen, oh friendless world!
To you, a Saviour is born!