I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.@Song of Solomon 2:1
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William S. Hays (1837-1907)

Charles W. Fry, 1881. First appeared in the Salvation Army’s The War Cry, December 29, 1881. Fry wrote the lyrics in Lincoln, England, while working with the Salvation Army there.

William S. Hays, adapted by Charles W. Fry (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Charles W. Fry (1838-1882) and family

Auntie, please sing Lily of the Valley, said a little girl of six, as she stood by the piano in company with a number of other children on a Sunday evening. In a few minutes all present were singing:

I’ve found a friend in Jesus,
He’s everything to me;
He’s the fairest of ten thousand
To my soul.

and the little one, who knew only the chorus, joined in heartily with the rest, her clear voice ringing out sweetly amid those of the older children. When her auntie would play on the piano she would always run to her and beg for one or another of her favorite hymns, but her favorite was Lily of the Valley, and she never tired of hearing it.

The following winter was a very severe one, and this little girl was stricken with diphtheria. Nothing would soothe her but to have her mother sing to her. Over and over again the mother would sing all the songs she knew, but specially The Lily of the Valley. One morning, soon after dawn, the child seemed to be a little brighter, and tried to raise her hand, as though she wished to speak. Tenderly the mother asked what she wanted, and the girl whispered, Sing The Lily of the Valley once more. With tears streaming down her cheeks the mother attempted to sing the first verse and the chorus. A smile broke over the little one’s face, and as her head drooped back on the pillow her spirit went out into the bosom of Him, who is indeed the Lily of the Valley and the fairest of ten thousand.

Bitter indeed were the tears when they realized that their darling was no more; but their sorrow was lightened by the knowledge that she was free from pain, and they will always treasure with her memory the hymn she loved so well.

Sankey, pp. 340-41

I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll.

Refrain

He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tower;
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart and now He keeps me by His power.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.

Refrain

He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
While I live by faith and do His blessèd will;
A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.
Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessèd face,
Where the rivers of delight shall ever roll.

Refrain