I often heard of Shakers while in my native land
That they were a deluded a blind bewitched band
Such awful news was spreading, too horrid to relate
How wicked they were acting in the Ohio State.
At length I went amongst them to see how they went on
I quickly was convinced that those reports were wrong.
I found they were a people such as I'd never seen
So bright so pure so holy so much opposed to sin.
I often heard of Zion but now I've found the place
The City that's adorned with truth and love and grace
My heart was struck with wonder to find such glory there
Where all was peace and glory without a single jar.
I found I'd got to Zion where saints and angels dwelt
Such piercing streams of glory my heart had never felt
This is no place of darkness but one eternal day
Here doubts and fears are banish'd and satan cannot stay.
I cried adieu to pleasure of every other kind
I'll give up all my Idols and leave the world behind.
I found the blessed people with whom I'll bear the cross
And count all earthly glory but vanity and dross.
Here is the holy fire that burns all sin and shame
The guilty sons of babel cannot endure the flame
I'll shout eternal praises to Jacobs awful King
That I have found such glory as saves the soul from sin.
O why was I so stupid to stay away so long
And labor in confusion with babel's mixed throng
But since I've found the city where God in glory reigns
I'll bid adieu to Sodom and all its dismal pains.
Salvation here is flowing from sin and dross refign'd
I'm willing here to tarry and leave my lust behind
I feel my soul united to this despised flock
Let death and hell [oppose] us we are safe upon the rock.
Though persecution rages we'll boldly shout and sing
We shall be safely guarded by Salem's conquering King,
Amidst all tribulation we feel our love increase
Altho' the world doth hate us in Zion we have peace.
Sweet union here is rolling all thro' this happy place
Here flows the crystal fountain and God unveils his face
Fair lillies here are growing that never fade or die
No other ground produces such fruits of peace and joy.
How blessed are the people who are admitted in
And dwell secure in Zion delivered from all sin
Their joys are still increasing their songs are always new
They love their great Creator and all their brethren too.
Patterson, D W, 1979, The Shaker Spiritual, Princeton University Press
, New Jersey
Patterson noted that "A ballad, 'The Famous Flower of Serving-Men' provided the tune for this account of Samuel Hooser's conversion." A letter sent in 1808 describes the event in more detail, giving us a reasonable date for the song.
The Famous Flower of Serving Men