William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–63)
From "The End of the Play"
Source: "Christmas Carols - Old & New." London: G. G. Harrup & Co., ca. 1918, pp. 61-2.
A gentleman, or old or young!
(Bear kindly with my humble lays);
The sacred chorus first was sung
Upon the first of Christmas days;
The shepherds heard it overhead --
The joyful angels raised it then:
Glory to Heaven on high, it said,
And peace on earth to gentle men.
My song, save this, is little worth;
I lay the weary pen aside,
And wish you health, and love, and mirth,
As fits the solemn Christmas-tide.
As fits the holy Christmas birth,
Be this, good friends our carol still,
Be peace on earth, be peace on earth
To men of gentle will.
Note: The full poem is the epilogue to Thackeray's story Dr. Birch and his Young Friends, found in "The Christmas Books of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh" by William M. Thackeray.