The Breaking of Chains

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   Between the ringing of bells and the musical clang of chimes
   I hear a sound like the breaking of chains, all through these
   Christmas times.
   For the thought of the world is waking out of a slumber deep and long,
   And the race is beginning to understand how Right can master Wrong.

   And the eyes of the world are opening wide, and great are the truths
   they see;
   And the heart of the world is singing a song, and its burden is ‘Be
   free!’
   Now the thought of the world and the wish of the world and the song of
   the world will make
   A force so strong that the fetters forged for a million years must
   break.

   Fetters of superstitious fear have bound the race to creeds
   That hindered the upward march of man to the larger faith he needs.
   Fetters of greed and pride have made the race bow down to kings;
   But the pompous creed and the costly throne must yield to simpler
   things.

   The thought of the world has climbed above old paths for centuries
   trod;
   And cloth and crown no longer mean the ‘vested power of God.’
   The race no longer bends beneath the weight of Adam’s sin,
   But stands erect and knows itself the Maker’s first of kin.

   And the need of the world and the wish of the world and the song of
   the world I hear,
   All through the clanging and clashing of bells, this Christmas time o’
   the year;
   And I hear a sound like the breaking of chains, and it seems to say to
   me,
   In the voice of One who spoke of old, ‘The Truth shall make men free.’

 

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