O hark unto the sounding bell,
What doth each stroke of tolling tell?
’Tis news to each attentive ear,
Some one is fitted for the bier.
Since death is licensed here to rage
Without respect to any age;
The hoary head, and youth in bloom,
Depart to their eternal home.
Death with an uncontrollèd force,
Will take his way and have his course;
Infectious air and pestilence
Are not repulsed by man’s defense.
They who had thought the world their own
Are with the meanest class cut down;
Both king and princes have to die.
And lay their pow’rs and honors by.
This is our just reward indeed,
What can we say, what can we plead?
Were we not warned, and warned again?
But all we heard, we heard in vain.
But now we feel, we learn to fear,
God’s threatened punishments are here:
What can we do, but plead and pray,
That God may turn His wrath away?