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“Hawk!” the Herald Angels Sing

by Lionel E. Deimel


“Hawk!” the herald angels sing;

“Watch those raptors on the wing!”


“Peace on earth,” the angels cry,

Struggling hard to rule the sky.


Joy they bring to those below

While giant birds dart to-and-fro.


Angels, guard your wings and face

As you sing of heav’ly grace.


“Hawk!” the herald angels sing;

“Watch those raptors on the wing!



Angel with hawk


Ideas often spring from multiple influences. The day after Thanksgiving 2012, I was stalking eagles, hawks, and waterfowl in the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. At the same time, my church choir was preparing music for Advent and Christmas. Somehow, these activities inspired the verse above, which is intended to be sung to the familiar Mendelssohn tune for “Hark! the herald angels sing.”

For what it’s worth, “Hark! the herald angels sing” was originally penned by the prolific hymnist Charles Wesley, though his version began “Hark, how all the welkin rings, / Glory to the King of Kings!” Wesley associate George Whitefield is responsible for changing that into the opening we have come to know.

My parody was written on December 4, 2012. I made one later revision to the poem, substituting “giant” for “large” in the antepenultimate verse. The use of “large” can only be considered a mistake. The change was made September 11, 2013.

— LED, 1/24/2013

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