Honey though the bee prepares,
An envenomed sting he wears;
Piercing thorns a guard compose
Round the fragrant blooming rose.
Where we think to find a sweet,
Oft a painful sting we meet:
When the rose invites our eye,
We forget the thorn is nigh.
Now with every good we find
Vanity and grief entwined;
What we feel, or what we fear,
All our joys embitter here.
Yet, through the Redeemer's love,
These afflictions blessings prove;
He the wounding stings and thorns,
Into healing med'cines turns.
From the earth our hearts they wean,
Teach us on his arm to lean;
Urge us to a throne of grace,
Make us seek a resting place.
In the mansions of our King
Sweets abound without a sting;
Thornless there the roses blow,
And the joys unmingled flow.
John Newton (1725-1807) Olney Hymns, 1779.