Scripture Verse

In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. Psalm 90:6

Introduction

Words: Anne Steele, Po­ems on Sub­jects Chief­ly De­vo­tion­al 1760. Writ­ten for a friend on the death of a child.

Music: Ze­phyr Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry, 1844 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Steele (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

portrait
William B. Bradbury (1816–1868)

Lyrics

So fades the love­ly, bloom­ing flow­er,
Frail, smil­ing sol­ace of an hour!
So soon our transient comforts fly,
And plea­sure on­ly blooms to die!

To cer­tain trou­ble we are born,
Hope to re­joice, but sure to mourn.
Ah wretch­ed ef­fort! sad re­lief,
To plead ne­ces­si­ty of grief!

Is there no kind, no len­i­ent art,
To heal the ang­uish of the heart?
To ease the hea­vy load of care,
Which na­ture must, but can­not bear?

Can rea­son’s dic­tates be obeyed?
Too weak, alas, her strong­est aid!
O let re­li­gion then be nigh,
Her com­forts were not made to die.

Her pow­er­ful aid sup­ports the soul,
And na­ture owns her kind con­trol;
While she un­folds the sac­red page,
Our fierce­st griefs re­sign their rage.

Then gen­tle pa­tience smiles on pain,
And dy­ing hope re­vives again;
Hope wipes the tear from sor­row’s eye,
And faith points up­ward to the sky.

The pro­mise guides her ar­dent flight,
And joys un­known to sense in­vite,
Those bliss­ful re­gions to ex­plore,
Where plea­sure blooms, to fade no more.