Wherefore should man, frail child of clay

Wherefore should man, frail child of clay

Author: William Enfield
Tune: FENELON
Published in 96 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Wherefore should man, frail child of clay,
Who, from the cradle to the shroud,
Lives but the insect of a day,--
Oh why should mortal man be proud?

2 His brightest visions just appear,
Then vanish, and no more are found:
The stateliest pile his pride can rear,
A breath may level with the ground.

3 By doubts perplexed, in error lost,
With trembling step he seeks his way:
How vain of wisdom's gift the boast!
Of reason's lamp how faint the ray!

4 Follies and crimes, a countless sum,
Are crowded in life's little span:
How ill, alas! does pride become
That erring, guilty creature, man!

5 God of my life! Father divine!
Give me a meek and lowly mind:
In modest worth oh let me shine,
And peace in humble virtue find.

Source: The Book of Worship #229

Author: William Enfield

Enfield, William , LL.D., born at Sudbury, Suffolk, March 29, 1741, of poor parents. Through the assistance of Mr. Hextall, the local Dissenting Minister, at 17 he entered the Daventry Academy under Dr. Ashworth. His first pastorate was of the congregation at Benn's Garden, Liverpool, to which he ministered from 1763 to 1770. In conjunction with Rev. J. Brekell of Key St. chapel, he edited A New Collection of Psalms proper for Christian Worship, in three parts. I. Psalms of David, &c. II. Psalms of Praise to God. III. Psalms on various Subjects. Liverpool. Printed in the year 1764. Known as the Liverpool Old Collection; Later eds., 1767, 1770, 1787. In this last, 60 more hymns are added to the 3rd part. From 1770 to 1785 Enfield was at… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Wherefore should man, frail child of clay
Author: William Enfield

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The Cyber Hymnal #8414
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

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The Cyber Hymnal #8414

Include 95 pre-1979 instances
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