Scripture Verse

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. Psalm 103:15–16


John of Damascus

Words: John of Da­mas­cus (675–749) (Ποία τοῦ βίού τρυ­ϕὴ δια­μέ­νει λύ­πης ἀμ­έ­το­χος). Trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by J. Ath­el­stan Ri­ley in The Eng­lish Hym­nal (Lon­don: Ox­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 1906), num­ber 361.

Music: Chris­tus, der ist mein Le­ben Mel­chi­or Vul­pi­us, 1609 (🔊 pdf nwc).

J. Athelstan Riley


What sweet of life endureth
Unmixed with bitter pain?
’Midst earthly change and chances
What glo­ry doth remain?

All is a feeble shadow,
A dream that will not stay;
Death cometh in a moment,
And taketh all away.

O Christ, a light transcendent
Shines in Thy countenance,
And none can tell the sweetness,
The beauty of Thy glance.

In this may Thy poor servant
His joy eter­nal find;
Thou calledst him, O rest him,
Thou lover of mankind!