Monday, December 3, 2012

12 Days of Christmas : Day 12 : Trees : Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

One of my favorite Christmas carols is "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree," set to the music of Elizabeth Poston (1905–1987).  

My daughter, Heather, sang this carol while touring in England with the Oberlin Choristers in York Minster under the beautiful Five Sisters window.

Written anonymously ("R.H.") as a poem published in 1761 in New England, the lyrics may be a reference to Song of Songs 2:3 :3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

The tree of life my soul hath seen
Laden with fruit and always green
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree
His beauty doth all things excel
By faith I know but ne'er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree
For happiness I long have sought
And pleasure dearly I have bought
I missed of all but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the apple tree
I'm weary with my former toil
Here I will sit and rest a while
Under the shadow I will be
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree

[With great delight I’ll make my stay,
There’s none shall fright my soul away;
Among the sons of me I see,
There’s none like Christ the apple tree.

I’ll sit and eat this truth divine,
It cheers my heart like spirit’l wine;
And now this fruit is sweet to me,
That grows on Christ the apple tree.]
This fruit does make my soul to thrive
It keeps my dying faith alive
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree

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