No bloom of spring had dared to lift
Its head above the frozen ground,
In snow-wrapped forests not a gift
For Easter beauty could be found.
No gold had I for lilies white
To make Christ’s temple sweet and fair,
Nor roses whose rich perfume might
Rise up in incense with my prayer.
And as I sorrowed that my love
For my dear Lord could not be shown,
I slept and dreamed I bent above
The fairest blossoms ever known.
It was the garden of the King
Where angels gathered all the flowers
That were His Easter offering
Upon this blessèd earth of ours.
Alas, no gift of mine, I cried,
Will bloom this year above the skies!
Then spoke an angel by my side,
“Not in the flower the offering lies.
“A holy thought, a lowly prayer
Some sad heart cheered and comforted,
Will live here as a lily fair
When all the earthborn flowers are dead.
The sweetest blossoms here were made
By deeds of self-forgetful love.
Go, give Christ’s needy children aid,
And Easter buds will bloom above.