Cohasset (William Billings)

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  • CPDL #19457:  Network.png PDF, MIDI and LilyPond files
Editor: Michael Lauer (submitted 2009-05-11).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 79 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Cohasset
First Line: Life is the time to serve the Lord
Composer: William Billings
Lyricist: Isaac Watts , from "Hymns and Spiritual Songs Book I", Hymn 88.

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1794 in The Continental Harmony

Description: Published on pages 59-60 of The Continental Harmony (1794).

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Life is the time to serve the Lord,
 The time t’ insure the great reward;
And while the lamp holds out to burn,
 The vilest sinner may return.

[Life is the hour that God has giv’n
 To ’scape from hell and fly to heav’n;
The day of grace, and mortals may
 Secure the blessings of the day.]

The living know that they must die,
 But all the dead forgotten lie;
Their mem’ry and their sense is gone,
 Alike unknowing and unknown.

[Their hatred and their love is lost,
 Their envy buried in the dust;
They have no share in all that’s done
 Beneath the circuit of the sun.]

Then what my thoughts design to do,
 My hands, with all your might pursue;
Since no device nor work is found,
 Nor faith, nor hope, beneath the ground.

There are no acts of pardon passed
 In the cold grave, to which we haste;
But darkness, death, and long despair,
 Reign in eternal silence there.