All Your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes You glad.@Psalm 45:8

Henry Barraclough, 1915 (🔊 pdf nwc).

[This song] was written very near to my home in the mountains of North Carolina. In the summer of 1915 the famous evangelist Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman was preaching at the Presbyterian conference grounds at Montreat. With him were the song leader Charles M. Alexander, soloist Albert Brown, and their pianist Henry Barraclough. Barraclough, the author of this hymn, was a twenty-four-year-old Britisher; he had met Chapman the previous year during a preaching mission in England.

During the conference, the evangelist spoke one evening on the forty-fifth Psalm [in 1893, Chapman had written a book called Ivory Palaces of the King]. He believed, as I do, that this is a prophetic, Messianic psalm which speaks of the relationship of Christ, the bridegroom, to his bride, the church…

After the evening service, Charlie Alexander and Henry Barraclough drove some friends to the Blue Ridge YMCA Hostel a few miles away. Sitting in the front seat of the car, young Barraclough thought about the message and the four short phrases of the refrain began to take shape in his mind. When they stopped at a little village store, he quickly wrote them down on a visiting card— the only paper that was available. Returning to the conference hotel, he worked out the first three stanzas, using the outline of Chapman’s message. The following morning Mrs. Alexander and Mr. Brown sang the new hymn in the Montreat conference session.

Billy Graham, in Barrows, p. 25

portrait
Henry Barraclough (1891-1983)

My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,
And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine
With joy my being thrills.

Refrain

Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.

His life had also its sorrows sore,
For aloes had a part;
And when I think of the cross He bore,
My eyes with teardrops start.

Refrain

His garments too were in cassia dipped,
With healing in a touch;
Each time my feet in some sin have slipped,
He took me from its clutch.

Refrain

In garments glorious He will come,
To open wide the door;
And I shall enter my heav’nly home,
To dwell forevermore.

Refrain