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The Vanity of Long Life.
LIKE shadows gliding o’er the plain,
Or clouds that roll successive on,
Man's busy generations pass,
And while we gaze their forms are gone.
Vain is the boast of lengthen’d years ;
A patriarch's full maturity;
'Tis but a larger drop, to swell
The ocean of eternity.
O Father! in whose mighty hand,
The boundless years and ages lie;
Teach us thy boon of life to prize,
And use the moments as they fly;
To crowd the narrow span of life,
With wise designs and virtuous deeds :
So shall we wake from death's dark night,
To share the glory that succeeds.
Improvement of the Shortness of Life.
The short-liv'd day declines in haste,
The night of death approaches fast;
With rapid speed the moments run,
In which the work of life is done.
As flies the shuttle o'er the loom,
So mortals hasten to the tomb ;
As ships that skim along the sea,
Or eagles darting on their prey.
As vanishes the fleeting shade ;
As flowers before the evening fade ;-
Such is the life of feeble man;
His days are measur'd by a span.
With willing heart, and active hands,
Lord ! I would practise thy commands;
Improve the moments as they ily,
And live as I would wish to die.
On the Death of a Young Person.
1 When blooming youth is snatch'd away
By death's resistless hand,
Our hearts the mournful tribute pay
Which pity must demand.
While pity prompts the rising sigh,
Oh may this truth, imprest
With awful power, ' I too must die,'
Sink deep in every breast.
Let this vain world delude no more ;
Behold the opening tomb ! It bids us seize the present hour; 'To-morrow,
The voice of this alarming scene
May every heart obey ;
Nor be the heavenly warning vain,
Which calls to watch and pray.
The Great Journey.
Behold the path that mortals tread
Down to the regions of the dead !
Nor will the fleeting moments stay,
Nor can we measure back our way,
Our kindred and our friends are gone;
Know, O my soul, this doom thine own;
Feeble as theirs my mortal frame,
The same my way, my house the same.
From vital air, from cheerful light,
To the cold grave's perpetual night;
From scenes of duty, means of grace,
I must to God's tribunal pass.
Awake, my soul! thy way prepare,
And lose in this each meaner care ;
With steady feet that path be trod,
Which, through the grave, conducte to God.
Time Flying and Death Approaching.
That awful hour will soon appear,
Swift on the wings of time it flies,
When all that pains or pleases here,
Will vanish from my closing eyes.
Death calls my friends, my neighbours hence;
None can resist his fatal dart;
Continual warnings strike my sense ;
And shall they fail to strike my heart!
Think, O my soul, how much depends
On the short period of a day :
Shall time, which heaven in mercy lends,
Be negligently thrown away?
The remnant minutes strive to use ;
Awake! rouse every active power!
And not in dreams and trifles lose
This little, this important hour!
Lord of my life! inspire my heart
With heavenly ardour, grace divine :
Nor let thy presence e'er depart;
For strength, and life, and death are thine.
Oh teach me the celestial skill,
Each awful warning to improve !
And while my days are shortening still,
Prepare me for the joys above !
The Vanity of Man, as mortal.
Teach me the measure of my days,
Thou Maker of my frame !
I would survey life's narrow space,
And learn how frail I am.
A span is all that we can boast,
A fleeting hour of time;
Man is but vanity and dust,
In all his flower and prime.
fee the vain race of mortals move,
Like shadows, o'er the plain;
They rage and strive, desire and love,
But all their noise is vain.
Some walk in honour's gaudy show ;
Some dig for shining ore;
They toil for heirs, they know not who,
And straight are seen no more.
What should I wish, or wait for, then,
From creatures, earth and dust!
They make our expectations vain,
And disappoint our trust.
Now I resign my earthly hope,
My fond desires recall;
I give my mortal interest up,
my God my all.
The fashion of this World passeth anay.'
SPRING up, my soul, with ardent flight ;
Nor let this earth delude thy sight,
With glittering trifles, gay and vain :
Wisdom divine directs thy view
To objects ever grand and new,
And faith displays the shining train.
The world's gay pageant rolls along ;
The giddy inexperienc'd throng
Pursue it with enchanted eyes :
It passes in swift march away,
Still more and more its charms decay,
Till the last gaudy colour dies.
O God, to thee my soul shall turn;
For thee my noblest passions burn,
And trust for bliss in thee alone:
I fix on that unchanging home,
Where never-fading pleasures bloom,
Fresh springing round thy radiant throne.
Life Fleeting : for an Anniversary.
The year hath pass'd away,
Swift as the gliding stream;