‘Tis not for man to trifle! Life is brief,
And sin is here.
Our age is but the falling of a leaf,
A dropping tear.
We have not time to sport away the hours,
All must be in earnest in a world like ours.
Not many lives, but only one have we,
One, only one;
How sacred should that one life ever be,
That narrow span!
Day after day filled up with blessed toil,
Hour after hour still bringing in new spoil.
Our being is no shadow of thin air,
No vacant dream;
No fable of the things that never were,
But only seem.
‘Tis full of meaning as of mystery,
Tho’ strange and solemn may that meaning be.
Our sorrows are no phantom of the night
No idle tale;
No cloud that floats along a sky of light,
On summer gale.
They are the true realities of earth,
Friends and companions even from our birth.
O life below, how brief, and poor, and sad!
One heavy sigh.
O life above, how long, how fair, and glad!
An endless joy.
Oh, to be done with daily dying here!
Now to begin the living in yon sphere!
O day of time, how dark! O sky and earth,
How dull your hue!
O day of Christ, how bright! O sky and earth,
Made fair and new!
Come, better Eden, with thy fresher green;
Come, brighter Salem, gladden all the scene.
Hymns of Faith and Hope
London: James Nisbet & Co.
Berners Street, 1877
Interesting how one can understand “you only live once”.