1. Once, in a garden, long ago,
the infant Christ made roses grow
so that a crown of flowery red
might, at the end, adorn his head.

2. When roses' perfume filled the air
he called the Hebrew children there,
but of the blossoms each took one
until for Jesus there were none.

3. 'There are no roses for Jesus now!
No wreath of roses for his brow!'
The children waited there to see
what Jesus' answer then might be.

4. Jesus replied, 'But you forget
the thorny stems remaining yet.'
They made a wreath, and from his head
there bloomed his crown of flowery red.

after A N Plescheev (1825-1893),
Bill Stead, based on translation by Vladimir Lelmesh
© Bill Stead / Jubilate Hymns
Tune: THE CROWN OF ROSES (The Carol Book 144)