What is our life?--a breath, a span,
A spark struck out, then lost in night;
Amidst Thy works, Lord, what is man,
That Thou in him shouldst take delight?
Thou self-existent, Thou alone,
Father of endless ages art!
Earth is Thy footstool, heaven Thy throne,
Yet scorn'st Thou not a broken heart.
That drear and desolate domain,
By evil spirits long possest,
Will bloom like Eden in Thy reign
Of love and joy, of peace and rest.
Oh! wouldst Thou deign to visit mine,
With Thy sweet presence fill the place,
How would that new creation shine
With all the glory of Thy grace!
Then life no more a breath would be,
A span, a spark, absorb'd in night,
Life would be immortality,
And darkness everlasting light.
Sacred Poems and Hymns