1 How vain are the pleasures of time,
How fond are vain mortals of life,
There's naught of the heavenly sublime,
There's naught but confusion and strife.
2 My bride, the dear wife of my youth,
Lies panting and gasping for breath,
More pleased with the beauties of truth,
And blessed in the embraces of death.
3 Her struggles are long and severe,
While struggling and coughing she smiles,
Saying, Jesus has made me his care,
I soon shall forget all my toils.
4 She calls for the chariot of Christ,
How slowly it moves on the way,
How long, my Lord Jesus, she cries,
How long have I here for to stay?
5 Yet Jesus is faithful to me,
He pities the pain I now feel;
I shall not outstay his decree,
He gives me his love as his seal.
6 Farewell my dear husband, saith she,
Now from your kind bosom I leap,
With Jesus my bridegroom to be,
My flesh in the tomb for to sleep.
7 And thus she continued to cry
For patience to wait for the word,
Till from us she leaped and did fly,
Forever to dwell with the Lord.
8 Now like a disconsolate dove,
I'm left all alone here to mourn;
O may the kind powers above
Shew pity to me while alone.
9 I look through the rooms of my house,
Each door on its hinges doth mourn;
While searching I find not my spouse,
Nor will she to me e'er return.
10 Now lonesome my table to me,
How empty the place where she sat,
What lonesome devotion I pay,
Where once we so sweetly did meet.
11 And still for to heighten my grief,
My sons a kind mother have lost,
They can't go to her for relief,
O may they in God put their trust.
12 And shall I indulge my complaint,
And tell you how lonesome my bed,
And try all my feelings to paint,
And fix to each note a dark shade?
13 There's none that can learn my complaint,
Unless it is stamped on his heart;
Not all that gay heathens can paint,
Can tell how true lovers do part.
14 But those who have lost their best part,
Torn from them, still leaving the wound,
May guess how I feel at my heart,
And notes of this kind can be found.
15 My passions will lead me too far;
My grief I will leave with the Lord,
I trust I shall shortly go where
Vain passion can't lead from his word.
16 My lyric I now will conclude,
And pleas'd with the thoughts of release
From troubles that do me surround,
To dwell in the regions of peace.
17 While I think of concluding my song,
Methinks she bends downwards her wings,
And whispers you're not to stay long,
You'll shortly come home to our king.
18 She now views more wonders at once,
Than ages on earth can relate,
From nation to nation she runs,
Then mounts to the heavenly seat.
19 There waiting for further commands,
At length she's directed to fly,
To further inhabited lands,
New glories and wonders to spy.
20 And while she their beauties behold,
She having her lyre well strung,
Mounts up in the chariots of gold,
And strikes an eternal new song.
21 How long, my dear Jesus, how long,
Ere I shall come home to my king,
And join that eternal new song,
And with my kind Esther to sing?
22 It is but a moment or two,
I have in this world for to stay,
Before I shall leap, and must go
To sing in the regions of day.
23 With patience I'll wait for the morn,
Nor think the dark moments are long
Until my Lord Jesus return,
Then join the angelical song.
Divine Hymns, or Spiritual Songs: for the use of religious assemblies and private Christians 1800