Christian, wouldst thou boast aright,
Deck thy brows with living light?
Twined above that altar’s horns,
Contemplate the crown of thorns:
Him, the rather, love the more
Who for thee that thorn-crown wore.
This the King of Glory bound
All His bleeding forehead round;
With this helmet on His head
Smote the foe of quick and dead;
Crowned with this triumphant wreath
Plucked the thorny sting from death.
This the crest the fight to stem,
Pontiff’s only diadem,
Only crown on earth to win,
In the battlefield of sin,
Changed, the while that head they hold,
Crown of thorns to crowns of gold.
All those thorn-points, sharp and gory,
Touched by Him are rays of glory,
In His Passion’s crucifying
Scorn no more, but praise undying,
Twining roses for His tomb
Of an amaranthine bloom.
Thorny ground with sweat of brow
Mingling in that labor now,
While the second Adam toils,
All the earth of curse despoils;
Thorns, fit only for the burning,
To a wreath of radiance turning.
Only good, and only grand,
Jesus, strength of those that stand,
Only might of them that win,
Pluck from life the sting of sin;
From our work with briers strown
Wreathe us an eternal crown!