Song #7 In The Garden
“I Come to the Garden Alone” (“In the Garden”)
by C. Austin Miles
The United Methodist Hymnal, 314
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.
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.
Some hymns have the distinction of being adored by many and, simultaneously, scorned by an equal and opposing group. Such is the case with “In the Garden.” The hymn had not appeared in The Methodist Hymnal (1966). Looking ahead to the next official hymnal, Carlton R. Young noted, “This was one of the most requested of hymns to be included in [The United Methodist] hymnal , and it is also one of the least liked, often denounced as erotic and egocentric” (Young, 432).
Let us begin with the poet’s own account of the hymn’s composition, as he describes “the greatest morn in history”: