Daughter of banker Thomas Hankey, Katherine Hankey belonged to the Clapham Sect. While still a teenager, Hankey taught Sunday school for girls. Later, she traveled to South Africa to be a nurse, and to help her invalid brother.
In her early 30’s, Hankey contracted a severe illness. During her protracted recovery, she wrote a long poem about Jesus. It is in two parts, with the first, 50 stanzas in length, asking about Him, and the second answering the question. “I Love to Tell the Story” and “Tell Me the Old, Old Story” both come from this poem.
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.
I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.