Virgin—loveliest ever seen,
Fairest art thou upon the earth,
And of a nobler, higher birth.
When King Agrippa heard thy name
And how abroad was spread thy fame,
And saw thee, lovely as thou art,
Thou almost won his heathen heart.
When bound in dungeon’s cruel stock
Thou gavest earth one mighty shock,
The prison-keeper felt thy power,
And trembling in the midnight hour,
Fell humbly at thy feet and craved
A knowledge how he could be saved;
Thou didst send pardon from above,
In turn he washed thy stripes in love.
When kneeling down beside the dead
In solemn accents thou hast said,
“Dorcas, in Jesus’ name arise”;
When opened were the woman’s eyes,
By gentle hand thou led her forth,
A monument of thy great worth.
Weeping beside the dead man’s tomb,
With a loud voice thou bid’st him “come,”
Though he four days in death had lain,
Thou call’dst him back to life again.
When beside the Beautiful gate,
Where halt and maimed for alms did wait,
To one who from his birth was lame,
Thou did’st say, “Arise in Jesus’ name”;
And he by trusting in thy word
Arose and leaped and praised the Lord.
When woman did her sin deplore;
Thou whispered, “Go and sin no more.”
A palsied man thy power would know,
Then was he healed, washed as white as snow.
When Simon saw thy wondrous power,
He sought to win thee with a dower,
Within his wicked heart he thought
Thy fame with money could be bought;
But earthly treasures glittering bright
Are worthless in thy virtuous sight:
Thou spurned his offer, and made bold
To bid him perish with his gold.
So pure art thou, O Christian fair,
No sin can thine own presence bear;
They lied to thee and lost their life,
Both Ananias and his wife.
A rich man with a haughty heart,
From out his gate bid thee depart;
He loved his wealth, but one day dies—
In hell he lifted up his eyes.
A beggar full of pains and aches,
Thy offered hand in welcome takes;
Enduring pains he one day dies—
Is borne by angels to the skies.
Fairest art thou ’mong the fair,
Thy graces none but thee can wear;
As bridegroom decked with ornaments,
Or bride with jeweled hyacinths,
So thou adorned in robes of white
Art on the earth a gleam of light.
Thy cheeks are comely as the rose,
Thy neck as white as winter snows,
Thy lips are like a scarlet thread,
Thy locks like silver on thy head,
Thy fingers set in diamond rings,
Thy voice in sweetest music sings;
Thy teeth are like an ivory ball,
Thy stature like the palm tree tall;
Thou art more gentle than the dove;
To him who with thee is in love,
No spot or blemish can there be,
Fair Virgin, found at all in thee;
With crowns of glory on thy brow,
Beauty’s perfection, Maid, art thou.
With thy banner of love unfurled,
On thy mission throughout the world
Thou goest, scattering precious seeds
Of gentle words and kindly deeds
To the sad heart and troubled breast,
Thou bringest peace and joy and rest,
Man’s humble home is truly blest,
When thou art crowned a royal guest;
Sorrow and sighing flee away
On that sweet coronation day.
Thy beauty more and more I see.
Thy love grows dearer unto me;
My heart thy throne, oh, let it be
Through life, and when I’ve reached the end.
Together let us quick ascend
To heaven’s bright and shining shore,
There dwell together evermore.