1. Oh say, what is truth? 'Tis the fairest gemThat the riches of worlds can produce,And priceless the value of truth will be whenThe proud monarch's costliest diademIs counted but dross and refuse.
2. Yes, say, what is truth? 'Tis the brightest prizeTo which mortals or Gods can aspire.Go search in the depths where it glittering lies,Or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies:'Tis an aim for the noblest desire.
3. The sceptre may fall from the despot's graspWhen with winds of stern justice he copes.But the pillar of truth will endure to the last,And its firm-rooted bulwarks outstand the rude blastAnd the wreck of the fell tyrant's hopes.
4. Then say, what is truth? 'Tis the last and the first,For the limits of time it steps o'er.Tho the heavens depart and the earth's fountains burst,Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,Eternal, unchanged, evermore.
Text: John Jaques, 1827-1900Music: Ellen Knowles Melling, 1820-1905
- Hymn Number
- Ellen Knowles Melling, 1820-1905
- John Jaques, 1827-1900
- Doctrine and Covenants 93:23-28, John 18:37-38
- Irregular meter
- Honesty, Truth