Saturday, July 05, 2008

Vanity of Life

Vanity of Life, Ecclesiastes 2

1 The evils that beset our path
Who can prevent or cure?
We stand upon the brink of death
When most we seem secure.

2 If we today sweet peace possess,
It soon may be withdrawn;
Some change may plunge us in distress,
Before tomorrow's dawn.

3 Disease and pain invade our health
And find an easy prey;
And oft, when least expected, wealth
Takes wings and flies away.

4 A fever or a blow can shake
Our wisdom's boasted rule;
And of the brightest genius make
A madman or a fool.

5 The gourds, from which we look for fruit,
Produce us only pain;
A worm unseen attacks the root,
And all our hopes are vain.

6 I pity those who seek no more
Than such a world can give;
Wretched they are, and blind, and poor,
And dying while they live.

7 Since sin has filled the earth with woe,
And creatures fade and die;
Lord wean our hearts from things below,
And fix our hopes on high.

OLNEY HYMNS, Book 1. Hymn 54
John Newton
Common Meter

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