Scripture Verse

Wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Psalm 49:10


Words: From The Psal­ter (Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­van­ia: Unit­ed Pres­by­ter­ian Board of Pub­li­ca­tion, 1912), num­ber 136.

Music: Be­ne­ven­to ar­ranged from Sam­uel Webbe, Sr., 1792 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Samuel Webbe, Sr. (1740–1816)


Dust to dust, the mor­tal dies,
Both the fool­ish and the wise;
None for­ev­er can re­main,
Each must leave his hoard­ed gain.
Yet with­in their heart they say
That their hous­es are for aye,
That their dwell­ing plac­es grand
Shall for ge­ne­ra­tions stand.

To their lands they give their name
In the hope of last­ing fame,
But man’s hon­or quick­ly flies,
Like the low­ly beast he dies.
Though such fol­ly mark their way,
Men ap­prove of what they say;
Death their shep­herd, they the sheep,
He with­in his fold will keep.

O’er them soon shall rule the just,
All their beau­ty turn to dust;
God my wait­ing soul shall save,
He will raise me from the grave.
Let no fear dis­turb your peace
Though one’s house and wealth in­crease;
Death shall end his fleet­ing day,
He shall car­ry naught away.

Though in life he wealth at­tained,
Though the praise of men he gained,
He shall join those gone be­fore,
Where the light shall shine no more.
Crowned with hon­or though he be,
Highly gift­ed, strong and free,
If he be not tru­ly wise,
Man is like the beast that dies.