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.

This Life's a dream, an empty show

This life's a dream, an empty show

Author: Isaac Watts
Published in 40 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 This life's a dream, an empty show;
But the bright world to which I go
Hath joys substantial and sincere;
When shall I wake and find me there?

2 O glorious hour! O blest abode!
I shall be near and like my God,
And flesh and sense no more control
The sacred pleasures of the soul.

3 My flesh shall slumber in the ground
Till the last trumpet's joyful sound;
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise,
And in my Saviour's image rise.

Hymnal: according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, 1871

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: This life's a dream, an empty show
Title: This Life's a dream, an empty show
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


This life's a dream, an empty show. Part of “Lord, I am Thine, but Thou wilt prove," p. 689, i.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)



Instances (1 - 40 of 40)

A New and Beautiful Collection of Select Hymns and Spiritual Songs #d312

Page Scan

American Psalmody #150a

Page Scan

Christian Hymns #359

Die neue Harmonie, oder eine Neue Sammlung von Kirken-Musik #d110

Page Scan

Dupuy's Hymns and Spiritual Songs (Rev. corr. and enl.) #124

Page Scan

Hymnal and Canticles of the Protestant Episcopal Church with Music (Gilbert & Goodrich) #96


Hymnal #96

Page Scan

Hymnal #96

Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Selected and Original. 7th ed. #d437

Page Scan

Hymns for the Church of Christ (3rd thousand) #821

Page Scan

Hymns for the Church of Christ. (6th thousand) #821

Page Scan

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs #359

Sacred Melodies #d119

Page Scan

Selah #276

Select Melodies, comprising the Best of Those Hymns and Spiritual Songs in Common Use #d240

Page Scan

Social and Camp-meeting Songs, for the Pious (9th ed. enl.) #28

Page Scan

Social and Campmeeting Songs For the Pious (4th ed.) #28

TextPage Scan

Songs of Zion #45

Templi Carmina #d250

Page Scan

The American Vocalist #28

The Christian Minstrel #d287

Page Scan

The Christian's Harp #A50

Page Scan

The Church Hymnal with Canticles #96

Page Scan

The Hymnal #96

Page Scan

The Middlesex Collection of Church Music #111

Page Scan

The Primitive Baptist Hymnal #49

The Sacred Melodeon #d100

TextAudioPage Scan

The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion (New ed. thoroughly rev. and much enl.) #295

The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion. New ed. #295

The Union Harp and Revival Chorister. Rev ed. #d391

Page Scan

The Voice of melody #18b

Page Scan

The Wesleyan Sacred Harp #42

Page Scan

The Wesleyan Sacred Harp #42

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.