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.