We ask for donations here just twice a year, and this is one of those times. So, before you hit the "close" button on this box, would you consider a donation to keep Hymnary.org going? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

Last month, our Hymnary website had almost 1 million visitors from around the world: people like you who love hymns. To serve our users well takes money, and we have limited sources of revenue. This fund drive is one such source.

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, or you can click the Donate button below. From the entire Hymnary.org team, our grateful thanks.

Shall this Life of Mine be Wasted?

Shall this life of mine be wasted

Author: Horatius Bonar
Published in 10 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Shall this life of mine be wasted?
Shall this vineyard lie untilled?
Shall true joy pass by untasted,
And this soul remain unfilled?

2 Shall the God-given hours be scattered,
Like the leaves upon the plain?
Shall the blossoms die unwatered
By the drops of heavenly rain?

3 Shall I see each fair sun waking,
And not feel, it wakes for me?
Each glad morning, brightly breaking,
And not feel, it breaks for me?

4 Shall I see the roses blowing,
And not wish to bloom as they?
Holy fragrance round me throwing,
Luring others on the way.

5 Shall I hear the free bird singing
In the summer’s stainless sky,
Far aloft its glad flight winging,
And not seek to soar as high?

6 Shall this heart still spend its treasures
On the things that fade and die;
Shall it court the hollow pleasures
Of bewildering vanity?

7 Shall these lips of mine be idle;
Shall I open them in vain?
Shall I not with God’s own bridle
Their frivolities restrain?

8 Shall these eyes of mine still wander?
Or, no longer turned afar,
Fix a firmer gaze and fonder
On the bright and morning Star?

9 Shall these feet of mine, delaying
Still in ways of sin be found,
Braving snares and madly straying
On the world’s bewitching ground?

10 No, I was not born to trifle
Life way in dreams or sin!
No, I must not, dare not stifle
Longings such as these within!

11 Swiftly moving, upward, onward,
Let my soul in faith be borne;
Calmly gazing, skyward, sunward,
Let my eye unblinking turn!

12 Where the cross, God’s love revealing,
Sets the fettered spirit free,
Where it sheds its wondrous healing,
There my soul, thy rest shall be.

13 Then no longer idly dreaming
Shall I fling my years away;
But, each precious hour redeeming,
Wait for the eternal day!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #11254

Author: Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar was born at Edinburgh, in 1808. His education was obtained at the High School, and the University of his native city. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1837, and since then has been pastor at Kelso. In 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. His reputation as a religious writer was first gained on the publication of the "Kelso Tracts," of which he was the author. He has also written many other prose works, some of which have had a very large circulation. Nor is he less favorably known as a religious poet and hymn-writer. The three series of "Hymns of Faith and Hope," have passed through several editions. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Shall this life of mine be wasted
Title: Shall this Life of Mine be Wasted?
Author: Horatius Bonar
Copyright: Public Domain


[Shall this life of mine be wasted] (Moore)

[Shall this life of mine be wasted] (Hoffman)


This story is associated with the writing of RATHBUN: One Sunday in 1849 Ithamar Conkey (b. Shutesbury, MA, 1815; d. Elizabeth, NJ, 1867) walked out of the morning service at Central Baptist Church, Norwich, Connecticut, where he was choir director and organist, frustrated because only one soprano f…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #11254
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #11254

Include 9 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.