Lord, make me to know…the measure of my days…that I may know how frail I am. Psalm 39:4
Words: Anne Steele, Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional 1760. The original was the 13-stanza poem, When I Resolved to Watch My Thoughts. This version is a cento that first appeared in A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, by John Rippon (London: 1787).
If you know where to get a good picture of Steele (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
Almighty maker of my frame!
Teach me the measure of my days,
Teach me to know how frail I am,
And spend the remnant in Thy praise.
My days are shorter than a span,
A little point my life appears;
How frail at best is dying man!
How vain are all his hopes and fears!
Vain his ambition, noise and show;
Vain are the cares which rack his mind;
He heaps up treasures mixed with woe,
And dies and leaves them all behind.
O be a nobler portion mine!
My God, I bow before Thy throne;
Earth’s fleeting treasures I resign,
And fix my hope on Thee alone.