1 When all the Virtues of the Wood,
Impartially we trace;
The Apple-Tree, as rare, and good,
First claims the highest Place:
Beauteous, and rare, it stands admir'd,
Amongst a thousand Trees;
Its Fragrance, Fruit, and Shade desir'd,
To quicken, feed, and please.
2 Just so, excelling Heav'n and Earth,
Is my Beloved seen
Amongst the Sons of royal Birth,
The Sons of God or Men;
Above them all he stands alone,
Pre-eminent and rare;
The Father's first begotten Son,
None may with him compare.
3 He as the Man of God's right Hand,
Is all Perfection seen;
Whilst Angels charg'd with Folly stand,
And Heav'n's declar'd unclean.
When blasted Ev'ry Tree beside,
Still he affords a Shade;
A safe Asylum for his Bride,
Which Love eternal made.
4 His fragrant Name our Hearts shall cheer,
As Ointments poured forth;
More than the Names which Angels bear,
Or Men of highest Worth.
Unsav'ry all the sons we prove,
Their Wroth no more can see;
The Fragrance of eternal Love
Comes forth, dear Lamb, from thee.
5 Thy Fruits, thy Wisdom, Love, and Pow'r,
Are perfect evermore;
Whilst all beside are green and sour,
Or rotten at the Core.
Live thou, of all the Sons admir'd,
As th' only just and Good;
As stands the Apple-Tree desir'd,
In the unfruitful Wood.
Source: Christian Hymns, Poems, and Spiritual Songs: sacred to the praise of God our Saviour #I.LXVI