Time, what an empty vapor tis

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This is an hymn by Isaac Watts, his Hymn 58 of Book 2, published 1709, in seven stanzas, entitled The shortness of life, and the goodness of God.

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Text and translations

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1. Time, what an empty vapor 'tis!
And days, how swift they are!
Swift as an Indian arrow flies,
Or like a shooting star.

2. The present moments just appear,
Then slide away in haste,
That we can never say, "They're here,"
But only say, "They're past."

3. Our life is ever on the wing,
And death is ever nigh;
The moment when our lives begin
We all begin to die.

 

4. Yet, mighty God! our fleeting days
Thy lasting favors share,
Yet with the bounties of thy grace
Thou load'st the rolling year.

5. 'Tis sovereign mercy finds us food,
And we are clothed with love;
While grace stands pointing out the road
That leads our souls above.

6. His goodness runs an endless round;
All glory to the Lord!
His mercy never knows a bound,
And be his name adored!

 

7. Thus we begin the lasting song;
And when we close our eyes,
Let the next age thy praise prolong,
Till time and nature dies.

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