Scripture Verse

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain. Ecclesiastes 12:1–2

Introduction

Words: Em­ma La­za­rus (1849–1887), alt. This text is giv­en a date of Jan­u­a­ry 10, 1866, in A Lib­rar­y of Po­et­ry for Sun­day Read­ing, by Phil­ip Schaff & Ar­thur Gil­man (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1880), page 332.

Music: Ab­er­deen pos­si­bly by An­drew Tait, in James Chal­mers’ un­ti­tled col­lect­ion, 1749. Me­lo­dy from Ru­di­ments of Mu­sic, by Ro­bert Brem­ner, 1756 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes (these tunes use an ev­en num­ber of vers­es):

portrait
Emma Lazarus
(1849–1887)

Lyrics

Remember Him, the only One,
Now, ere the years flow by—
Now, while the smile is on thy lip,
The light within thine eye.

Now, ere for thee the sun has lost
Its glory and its light,
And earth rejoice thee not with flowers,
Nor with its stars the night.

Now, while thou lovest earth, because
She is so wondrous fair
With daisies and with primroses,
And sunlit, waving air.

And not because her bosom holds
Thy dearest and thy best,
And some day will thyself infold
In calm and peaceful rest.

Now, while thou lovest violets,
Because mid grass they wave,
And not because they bloom upon
Some early shapen grave.

Now, while thou lovest trembling stars,
But just because they shine,
And not because they’re nearer one
Who never can be thine.

Now, while thou lovest music’s strains,
Because they cheer thy heart,
And not because from aching eyes
They make the tear drops start.

Now, while thou lovest all on earth,
And deemest all will last,
Before thy hope has vanished quite
And every joy has passed.

Remember Him, the only One,
Before the days draw nigh
When thou shalt have no joy in them,
And praying, yearn to die.