Raise a glad song, favored maiden;
Sing out sweetly, turtle-dove,
By your King with treasures laden,
Called by Him to be His love!
Truer bridegroom was there never,
Nor more generous a lord;
All that’s His is yours forever,
Sealed with His eternal Word!
Lo, He sets His mark upon you,
Claims you for His own dear bride;
With His holy Blood He won you,
For your love He fought and died!
Now fair robes as bright as morning
He brings for your wedding gown,
Rarest jewels for your adorning,
And a shining royal crown.
But before the feast in splendor,
When your joy will be complete,
Bride of Christ, you must surrender
To what seems a dark defeat,
To the night of bloody sweating,
To the vicious world’s abuse,
To the hour, of God’s own setting,
When your very self you lose!
From earth’s world of dim phantasm
To your Spouse’s radiant realm,
One road only spans the chasm;
Let it not your heart o’erwhelm.
He sees your tears, drawn by fire,
By each wound and valiant loss,
Diamond stairs to lead you higher
By the King’s road of the Cross.
If a maid follows her lover,
Join yours on His mystic way,
Road He traveled to recover
Precious souls that dying lay.
Join His great task of redeeming
Each lamb wand’ring from His fold;
Your blood mixed with His and streaming
Sows their new life manifold.
Think on Whom it is you marry,
King of Kings and Friend most dear,
Who scorns not weak lambs to carry—
Let His love cast out your fear!
He’s worthy of all your treasure,
And you’ll find, dear bride of Christ,
He returns bounteous measure
For all that you’ve sacrificed!
Break your jar, your ointment flowing,
Pour it and count not its worth,
For the joy that passes knowing
And the love past scope of earth!
Take your cross, moved by Love’s fires,
Learn its deep, mysterious charms,
Find your heart full past desires,
Find you’ve risen—in His arms!