1 Thankless for favors from on high,
Man thinks he fades too soon:
Though ’tis his privilege to die,
Would he improve the boon.
2 But he, not wise enough to scan
His best concerns aright,
Would gladly stretch life’s little span
To ages, if he might.
3 To ages in a world of pain,
To ages, where he goes
Galled by affliction’s heavy chain,
And hopeless of repose.
4 Strange fondness of the human heart,
Enamored of its harm!
Strange world, that costs it so much smart,
And still has power to charm.
5 Whence has the world her magic power?
Why deem we death a foe?
Recoil from weary life’s last hour,
And covet longer woe?
6 The cause is conscience: conscience oft
Her tale of guilt renews;
Her voice is terrible, though soft,
And dread of death ensues.
7 Then, anxious to be longer spared,
Man mourns his fleeting breath;
All evils then seem light compared
With the approach of death.
8 ’Tis judgment shakes him: there’s the fear
That prompts his wish to stay;
He has incurred a long arrear,
And must despair to pay.
9 Pay! Follow Christ, and all is paid:
His death your peace ensures;
Think on the grave where He was laid,
And calm descend to yours.Source: The Cyber Hymnal #9591