Hymn Study:I Come to the Garden Alone

"11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her."   John 20:11-18

 I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses. 
  • Refrain:
    And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
    And He tells me I am His own;
    And the joy we share as we tarry there,
    None other has ever known.
             He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him,
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
Charles Austin Miles wrote this hymn in March 1912.  In his own words he said "I was seated in the darkroom where I kept my photographic equipment and organ.  I drew my Bible toward me, it opened at my favourite chapter, John 20....that meeting of Jesus and Mary had lost none of its power to charm.   As I read it that day, I seemed to be part of the scene.  I became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary's life, when she knelt before her Lord, and cried "Rabboni!"...under the inspiration of this vision I wrote as quickly as the words could be formed the poem exactly as it has since appeared.   That same evening I wrote the music".   Some sources add additional information about seeing visions which I don't know what I think of.  :)

Miles, started his career as a pharmacist, but later abandoned that in order to work as editor and manager at Hall-Mack.  he started writing gospel music in 1892.   Hall-Mack published his first gospel song "List 'tis Jesus' Voice".   He was very proud to be known as a gospel music writer.   His desire was to be of good use to the Lord God.   As he said in this "way I may be of the most use to my Master, whom I serve willingly although not as efficiently as is my desire."  (source)


  1. I love that you spend time each week doing this.

    1. it's a great part of my week Kylie. So interesting to learn the stories behind the hymns.

  2. This is quite interesting. I've learned something new today. Thank you!

  3. You know, I was reading your blog post and realized that yesterday evening my husband was reading that very same bit of the bible to me! I think I love John the best of all. That you for sharing the story of the hymn - I will share it will the family.

    1. That's neat to hear and thank you.

  4. I really like this one. Such a personalized view of God. - Lori


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