The Ballad of the Cross

Representative Text

1. Melchior, Gaspar, Balthazar,
Great gifts they bore and meet;
White linen for His body fair
And purple for His feet;
And golden things—the joy of kings—
And myrrh to breathe Him sweet.

2. It was the shepherd Terish spake,
Oh, poor the gift I bring—
A little cross of broken twigs,
A hind’s gift to a king—
Yet, haply, He may smile to see
And know my offering.

3. And it was Mary held her Son
Full softly to her breast,
Great gifts and sweet are at Thy feet
And wonders king-possessed;
O little Son, take Thou the one
That pleasures Thee the best.

4. It was the Christ-Child in her arms
Who turned from gaud and gold,
Who turned from wondrous gifts and great,
From purple woof and fold,
And to His breast the cross He pressed
That scarce His hands could hold.

5. ’Twas king and shepherd went their way—
Great wonder tore their bliss;
’Twas Mary clasped her little Son
Close, close to feel her kiss,
And in His hold the cross lay cold
Between her heart and His!

Author: Theodosia Garrison, 1874-1944

Born: 1874, Newark, New Jersey. Garrison was a regular contributor to magazines, and also wrote: Joy o’ Life, 1908 The Earth Cry, 1910 The Dreamers, 1917 As the Larks Rise, 1921… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Melchior, Gaspar, Balthazar
Title: The Ballad of the Cross
Author: Theodosia Garrison, 1874-1944
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



MORNING SONG is a folk tune that has some resemblance to the traditional English tune for "Old King Cole." The tune appeared anonymously in Part II of John Wyeth's (PHH 486) Repository of Sacred Music (1813). In 1816 it was credited to "Mr. Dean," which some scholars believe was a misprinted referen…

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The Cyber Hymnal #366
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The Cyber Hymnal #366

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