The poem Music on Christmas Morning was signed by Acton. Acton Bell that is. This was the pseudonym of Anne Brontë. Like her sisters Charlotte and Emily, she used a more masculine name, to write poetry. This is a beautiful Christmas poem to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.
The poem Music on Christmas Morning was originally published in 1846. Four years later, another version was published with some editorial changes made by Charlotte Brontë. This poem was part of the publication Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
The “forgotten” sister
Anne Brontë is considered as the “forgotten” sister. She published three books during her life: the already mentioned work with her two sisters, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She died at the age of 29 due to tuberculosis.
The reason why she is the “forgotten” sister, has to do with the attention her sisters got during and after her life. Anne was able to write just as good as her sisters and Music on Christmas Morning is a fine example of her writing skills.
Music on Christmas Morning
MUSIC I love–but never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine–
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne.
Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music kindly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel’s voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice;
To greet with joy the glorious morn,
Which angels welcomed long ago,
When our redeeming Lord was born,
To bring the light of Heaven below;
The Powers of Darkness to dispel,
And rescue Earth from Death and Hell.
While listening to that sacred strain,
My raptured spirit soars on high;
I seem to hear those songs again
Resounding through the open sky,
That kindled such divine delight,
In those who watched their flocks by night.
With them I celebrate His birth–
Glory to God, in highest Heaven,
Good-will to men, and peace on earth,
To us a Saviour-king is given;
Our God is come to claim His own,
And Satan’s power is overthrown!
A sinless God, for sinful men,
Descends to suffer and to bleed;
Hell must renounce its empire then;
The price is paid, the world is freed,
And Satan’s self must now confess
That Christ has earned a right to bless:
Now holy Peace may smile from heaven,
And heavenly Truth from earth shall spring:
The captive’s galling bonds are riven,
For our Redeemer is our king;
And He that gave his blood for men
Will lead us home to God again.
Acton (Anne Brontë)