In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. Psalm 90:6
Words: Anne Steele, Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional 1760. Written for a friend on the death of a child.
If you know where to get a good picture of Steele (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
So fades the lovely, blooming flower,
Frail, smiling solace of an hour!
So soon our transient comforts fly,
And pleasure only blooms to die!
To certain trouble we are born,
Hope to rejoice, but sure to mourn.
Ah wretched effort! sad relief,
To plead necessity of grief!
Is there no kind, no lenient art,
To heal the anguish of the heart?
To ease the heavy load of care,
Which nature must, but cannot bear?
Can reason’s dictates be obeyed?
Too weak, alas, her strongest aid!
O let religion then be nigh,
Her comforts were not made to die.
Her powerful aid supports the soul,
And nature owns her kind control;
While she unfolds the sacred page,
Our fiercest griefs resign their rage.
Then gentle patience smiles on pain,
And dying hope revives again;
Hope wipes the tear from sorrow’s eye,
And faith points upward to the sky.
The promise guides her ardent flight,
And joys unknown to sense invite,
Those blissful regions to explore,
Where pleasure blooms, to fade no more.