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

A young Jew­ess had been con­vert­ed in Lond­on through her Ger­man gov­ern­ess. She had been for­bid­den to read the New Tes­ta­ment by her par­ents, who were ar­dent Jews; but while read­ing Isaiah 53 she found the Mes­si­ah, and was soon ex­pelled from her home.

She then went to Ger­many, and her­self act­ed as gov­ern­ess for sev­er­al years.

When she heard of Mr. Moody’s work at North­field, she de­cid­ed to go there. Hav­ing been en­ter­tained in Lon­don for a few weeks by Mr. Den­ny, a pro­mi­nent lay man, this gen­tle­man asked me one day in Lon­don, as I was about to sail for Amer­i­ca, if I would see her safe­ly across the ocean, which I pro­mised to do.

In Lou­is­ville she first saw Mr. Moody. On leav­ing Louis­ville she went to New York and ap­plied to the Pres­by­ter­i­an Board of For­eign Mis­sions for ap­point­ment as a for­eign mis­sion­ary. There be­ing some de­lay in ac­cept­ing her ap­pli­ca­tion, she decided to go with the Rev. Hud­son Tay­lor, whom she had met at North­field.

On ar­riv­ing in Chi­na she adopted the garb of the Chi­nese women, and be­came a faith­ful and use­ful work­er. Af­ter two years she was mar­ried to a mis­sion­ary from Scot­land. They are still en­gaged in mis­sion­ary work in North­ern China.

Sankey, pp. 383–84


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. 384–87

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