Scripture Verse

I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Song of Solomon 2:1

Introduction

portrait
William S. Hays
(1837–1907)

Words: Charles W. Fry, 1881. First pub­lished in The War Cry by the Sal­va­tion Ar­my (SA), De­cem­ber 29, 1881. Fry wrote the lyr­ics in Lin­coln, Eng­land, while work­ing with the SA there.

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

illustration
Charles W. Fry
(1838–1882) and family

Anecdote

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

Lyrics

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