A seldom-quoted stanza of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" says
In the beauty of the lillies Christ was born across the sea
with a beauty in his bosom that transfigures you and me.
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
while God is marching on.
My question is, what does it mean when it says that Jesus was born "in the beauty of the lillies"? I thought the story was that he was born in a manger, not among lillies. Is there any reference to lillies in the Biblical description of Jesus' birth?
Or does the "in" mean "with", i.e. is it saying that Jesus was as beautiful as a lily when he was born? That could be a reference to the line in the Bible about how King Solomon was not arrayed so finely as the lillies of the field.