1 Swift as the arrow cuts its way
Through the soft yielding air,
Or as the sun's more subtle ray,
Or lightning's sudden glare:
Or as an eagle to the prey,
Or shuttle through the loom,
So haste our fleeting lives away,
So pass we to the tomb.
2 Like airy bubbles, lo! we rise,
And dance upon life's stream;
Till soon the air that caused, destroys
Th' attenuated frame.
Down the swift stream we glide apace,
And carry death within;
Then break, and scarcely leave a trace
To show that we have been.
3 The man, the wisest of our kind,
Who length of days had seen,
To birth and death a time assigned,
But none to life between;
Yet, oh, what consequences close
This transient state below!
Eternal joys, or, losing those,