1 Thro' every age, eternal God,
Thou art our rest, our safe abode;
High was thy throne ere heaven was made,
Or earth thy humble footstool laid.
2 Long hadst thou reign'd ere time began,
Or dust was fashion'd to a man;
And long thy kingdom shall endure
When earth and time shall be no more.
3 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."
4 [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.]
5 Death like an overflowing stream
Sweeps us away; our life's a dream;
An empty tale; a morning flower
Cut down and wither'd in an hour.
6 [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.
7 But O how oft thy wrath appears,
And cuts off our expected years!
Thy wrath awakes our humble dread;
We fear the power that strikes us dead.]
8 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.