This lovely lily, so pure and white,
Seems covered o'er with celestial light;
As if it grew on the "Tree of Life,"
And not down here, in this world of strife;
Too pure for earth it now seems to be;
My queenly wife, it was meant for thee.
Its wax-like petals with graceful bend,
Drink in the sunbeams as they descend;
And lade with fragrance the heated air
As it floats around us everywhere;
And the world grows better by its advent,
This lovely lily, so kindly sent.
It rested once on its crystal bed;
Neither wind, nor wave, occasioned dread;
Admired by all as they passed it by,
Though the contrast oft produced a sigh;
In purer soil than affords this earth
This lovely lily must have had its birth.
Dive down in search, where the root is found;
In vain you look for the purer ground;
The root is fixed in the foulest mud;
And from it grows this pure lily bud;
While speckled frogs, and the slimy eels,
Around its roots find their daily meals.
As lilies fair from the foul mud grow,
So oft it is with good men below;
In daily life they absorb the pure,
And the adverse elements endure;
And rise, through grace, to a higher sphere,
Their hearts in heaven, and their root down here.
Though foul the world where they have their growth,
Unfit the soil, and the climate both,
The blood of Christ does their stains remove;
His power to keep they all daily prove;
As lilies pure are these plants of grace,
Though growing now in so foul a place.