[Main] [Poetry Index]* [Poets] 1991 Denson Revision: [Titles] [Pages] [First Lines]* 2012 Cooper Revision: [Titles] [Pages] [First Lines]*
* Index of the First Line of Each Stanza, the Fifth Line of Eight Line Stanzas, and the First Line of the Chorus

Thro’ ev’ry age, eternal God,

Man mortal, and God eternal.
A mournful song at a funeral.

Poet: Isaac Watts, 1719
Meter: Long Meter (8,8,8,8)
Location in The Sacred Harp
Stanza Denson Cooper
Thro’ ev’ry age, eternal God,
Thou art our rest, our safe abode:
High was thy throne e’er heav’n was made,
Or earth thy humble footstool laid.

Long hadst thou reign’d e’er time began,
Or dust was fashion’d to a man;
And long thy kingdom shall endure,
When earth and time shall be no more.

But man, weak man, is born to die,
Made up of guilt and vanity:
Thy dreadful sentence, Lord, was just,
“Return, ye sinners, to your dust.”

[A thousand of our years amount
Scarce to a day in thine account;
Like yesterday’s departed light
Or the last watch of ending night.]


Death, like an overflowing stream,
Sweeps us away; our life’s a dream;
An empty tale; a mourning flow’r
Cut down and wither’d in an hour.

Mortality 50t, Stanza 1

[Our age to seventy years is set;
How short the term! how frail the state
And if to eighty we arrive,
We rather sigh and groan than live.

Mortality 50t, Stanza 2

But O how oft thy wrath appears,
And cuts off our expected years!
Thy wrath awakes our humble dread;
We fear that pow’r that strakes us dead.]

Teach us, O Lord, how frail is man;
And kindly lengthen out our span,
Till a wise care of piety
Fit us to die, and dwell with thee.

Mortality 50t, Stanza 3

Watts, Isaac. The Psalms of David: Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian State and Worship. 22nd ed. London: T. Longman et. al., 1769.