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Great and good God! thou Lord of life and death,
In whom the creature hath its being, breath;
Teach me to under-prize this life, and I
Shall find my loss the easier when I die.
So raise my feeble thoughts and dull desire,
That, when these vain and weary days expire,
I may discard my flesh with joy, and quit
My better part of this false earth, and it
Of some more sin; and for this transitory
And tedious life enjoy a life of glory.
WHO HAVE FLED TO TAKE REFUGE."
AH! whether shall I fly? what path untrod
Shall I seek out to 'scape the flaming rod
Of my offended, of my angry God?
Where shall I sojourn? what kind sea will hide My head from thunder? where shall I abide, Until his flames be quenched or laid aside?
What if these feet should take their hasty flight,
And seek protection in the shades of night?
Alas! no shade can blind the God of light.
What if my soul should take the wings of day,
And find some desert; if she spring away,
The wings of vengeance wave as fast as they.
What if some solid rock should entertain
My frighted soul? can solid rocks restrain
The stroke of justice, and not cleave in twain?
Nor sea, nor shade, nor shield, nor rock, nor cave,
Nor silent deserts, nor the silent grave,
Where flame-eyed fury means to smite, can save.
'Tis vain to flee; 'till gentle mercy show Her better eye, the further off we go,
The swing of justice deals the mightier blow.
The ingenuous child, corrected, doth not fly
His angry mother's hand, but clings more nigh,
And quenches with his tears her flaming eye.
Great God! there is no safety here below,
Thou art my fortress, thou that seem'st my foe, 'Tis thou, that strikest the stroke, must guard the blow.
OUR LIFE IS EVEN AS A VAPOUR! WHICH APPEAR
ETH FOR A LITTLE WHILE, AND THEN VANISHETH AWAY."
LIKE to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew;
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubble which on water stood,
E'en such is man, whose borrow'd light
Is straight called in and paid to-night.
The wind blows out, the bubble dies,
The spring entombed in autumn lies;
The stream dries up, the star is shot,
The flight is past, and man forgot.
66 HE FLEETH ALSO AS A SHADOW, AND CONTINUETH
As withereth the primrose by the river,
As fadeth summer's sun from gliding fountains,
As vanisheth the light blown bubble ever,
As melteth snow upon the mossy mountains:
So melts, so vanishes, so fades, so withers
The rose, the shine, the bubble, and the snow,
Of praise, pomp, glory, joy (which short life gathers),
Fair praise, vain pomp, sweet glory, brittle joy!
The withered primrose by the mourning river,
The faded summer's sun, from weeping fountains,
The light blown, vanished for ever,
The molten snow upon the naked mountains,
Are emblems that the treasures we uplay,
Soon wither, vanish, fade, and melt away.