As long as life its term extends,
Hope’s blest dominion never ends;
For while the lamp holds on to burn,
The greatest sinner may return.
Life is the season God both giv’n
To fly from hell, and rise to heav’n;
That day of grace fleets fast away,
And none its rapid course can stay.
The living know that they must die;
But all the dead forgotten lie:
Their mem’ry and their name 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 thy thoughts design to do,
Still let thy bands with might pursue;
Since no device nor work is found,
Nor wisdom underneath the ground.
In the cold grave, to which we haste,
There are no acts of pardon past:
But fixed the doom of all remains,
And everlasting silence reigns.
Scottish Psalter and Paraphrases