Scripture Verse

Beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Introduction

Words: Su­san­na Har­ris­on, Songs in the Night (Ip­swich, Eng­land: Pun­chard & Jer­myn, 1780), pag­es 122–23. To young wo­men.

Music: Abid­ing Grace John S. Camp, 1905 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
John S. Camp (1858–1946)

Lyrics

How oft doth beau­ty lead to sin,
And tempt the heart to stray;
It charms awhile, then hides again,
And soon it fades away!

Not all the art, and pains, and care
Of man can make it sure;
Nor can the fair­est of the fair
The tran­si­ent bliss se­cure.

Sickness and pain may soon dis­grace
The most ad­mir­èd charms:
Soon must they sleep in death’s em­brace,
And lose their love­ly forms.

How vain is beau­ty, then, my Muse!
Unworthy of thy lays:
Turn, and a nob­ler sub­ject choose,
Let vir­tue have thy praise.

How wise is she whose con­stant care
Pursues the heav’n­ly road:
She shall the Eter­nal’s fa­vor share,
And eve­ry real good.

She ev­er shuns the snares of vice
How cir­cum­spect her ways!
Wise in sim­pli­ci­ty she is;
Unsought her ge­ner­al praise.

If she is called to min­gle souls,
How cau­tious is her choice;
No vain pre­tense her love con­trols,
She scorns the flat­ter­er’s voice.

United, see, il­lus­tri­ous shines
The ten­der, pru­dent wife;
Humility her soul re­fines,
Grace go­verns all her life.

What un­dis­sem­bled love she bears
To him who has her hand:
How does she soft­en all his cares,
And all his woes at­tend!

Is she a friend? How kind and true!
Her cha­ri­ty, how pure!
Her friend­ship is not like the dew
That pass­es in an hour.

She shall be praised when beau­ty fails,
And years and age in­crease:
She shall be blest while grace pre­vails,
And end her days in peace.