Scripture Verse

What is your life? It is a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. James 4:14

Introduction

portrait
Thomas Kelly
(1769–1855)

Words: Tho­mas Kel­ly, Hymns on Var­i­ous Pass­ag­es of Scrip­ture, third ed­i­tion (Dub­lin: 1809).

Music: Grand Cany­on Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry (1816–1868) (re­peats last two lines of each verse) (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
William B. Bradbury
(1816–1868)

Lyrics

What is life? ’tis but a vapor;
Soon it vanishes away;
Life is but a dying taper;
O my soul! why wish to stay!
Why not spread thy wings, and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy?

See that glory—how resplendent!
Brighter far than fancy paints;
There, in majesty transcendent,
Jesus reigns—the King of saints:
Spread thy wings, my soul! and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy.

Joyful crowds, His throne surrounding,
Sing with rapture of His love;
Through the heavens His praises sounding,
Filling all the courts above:
Spread thy wings, my soul! and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy.

Go, and share His people’s glory,
Mid the ransomed crowd appear;
Thine a joyful, wondrous story,
One that angels love to hear:
Spread thy wings, my soul! and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy