|Location in The Sacred Harp|
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