And am I only born to die?
And must I suddenly comply
With nature’s stern decree?
What after death for me remains?
Celestial joys, or hellish pains,
To all eternity?
How then ought I on earth to live,
While God prolongs the kind reprieve
And props the house of clay?
My sole concern, my single care,
To watch, and tremble, and prepare
Against the fatal day.
No room for mirth or trifling here,
For worldly hope, or worldly fear,
If life so soon is gone:
If now the Judge is at the door,
And all mankind must stand before
The inexorable throne!
No matter which my thoughts employ,
A moment’s misery, or joy;
But O! when both shall end,
Where shall I find my destined place?
Shall I my everlasting days
With fiends, or angels spend?
Nothing is worth a thought beneath
But how I may escape the death
That never, never dies;
How make mine own election sure,
And, when I fail on earth, secure
A mansion in the skies.
Jesus, vouchsafe a pitying ray,
Be Thou my guide, be Thou my way
To glorious happiness;
Ah, write the pardon on my heart,
And whensoe’er I hence depart,
Let me depart in peace.