How short, how narrow is the span,
How few the years allowed to man,
And ev’n in those few years he feels,
And groans beneath a thousand ills.
As springs the flower in some gay mead,
Then sudden hangs its drooping head,
So does our boasted strength decay,
And like the shadow, fly away.
Conscious of guilt, to thee we cry;
And raise the hand and lift the eye.
Yet sure our sins may justly move
Thine anger rather than thy love.
But, O most Holy, most adored,
Superior king, almighty Lord;
Have mercy when we yield our breath,
Nor doom us to eternal death.