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Time! what an empty Vapour 'tis!

The Shortness of Life, and the Goodness of GOD.

Poet: Isaac Watts, 1707
Meter: Common Meter (8,6,8,6)
Location in The Sacred Harp
Stanza Denson Cooper
Time! what an empty Vapour 'tis!
And Days, how swift they are!
Swift as an Indian Arrow flies,
Or like a shooting Star.

[The present Moments just appear,
Then slide away in haste,
That we can never say, They're here:
But only say, They're past.]

[Our Life is ever on the Wing,
And Death is ever nigh;
The Moment when our Lives begin,
We all begin to die.]

Guiding Spirit 86, Stanza 1

Yet, mighty GOD! our fleeting Days
Thy lasting Favours share,
Yet with the Bounties of the Grace
Thou load'st the rolling Year.

White Lilies all around appear,
And each his Glory shows;
The Rose of Sharon blossoms here,
The fairest Flow'r that blows.

Chearful I feast on heav'nly Fruit,
And drink the Pleasures down,
Pleasures that flow hard by the Foot
Of the eternal Throne.]

But ah! how soon my Joys decay!
How soon my Sins arise!
And snatch the heav'nly Scene away
From these lamenting Eyes.

When shall the Time, dear JESUS, when
The shining Day appear,
That I shall leave these Clouds of Sin,
And Guilt and Darkness here?

Up to the Fields above the Skies,
My hasty Feet would go;
There everlasting Flow'rs arise,
And Joys unwith'ring grow.

Watts, Isaac. Hymns and Spiritual Songs: In Three Books. 1773 ed. London: S. Strahan et. al., 1773.