A Reader’s Carol

by Anonymous and translated by Mark Safstrom

That star-filled night so all could hear
“Peace on earth, Peace on earth”
Wonderful echoes resounded clear:
“Peace on earth, Peace on earth”
Atonement promised hope and peace
Yet my soul’s troubles did not cease
I searched for years
these pains to ease
For peace on earth, peace on earth.
May the sailor his harbor find,
Peace with God, peace with God,
Safe as babe in mother’s
arms entwined.
Praise to God, praise to God!
Oh, Christmas bring
your tranquil lights
To lead me through the darker nights
And bear me up to heaven’s heights;
“Peace on earth, Peace on earth!”

This old läsarpsalm (reader’s hymn) is titled Frid på jord or I stjärnfull natt det ljöd så klart. The meter is slightly irregular in the Swedish, as arranged by Sofia Karlsson and Olivia Blyberg for the recording Folkjul, a Swedish Folk Christmas.

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Mark Safstrom is Chief Editor of Pietisten, and teaches Swedish language and Scandinavian literature at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

See all articles by Mark Safstrom