Scripture Verse

Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? Psalm 49:5


John Q. Adams (1767–1848)

Words: John Q. Ad­ams (1767–1848).

Music: Paxtang Ro­bert Low­ry, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you know when this hymn was writ­ten,

Robert Lowry (1826–1899)


Why should I fear in ev­il days,
With snares en­com­passed all around?
What trust can tran­si­ent trea­sures raise
For them in rich­es who abound?
His bro­ther who from death can save?
What wealth can ran­som him from God?
What mine of gold de­fraud the grave?
What hoards but van­ish at His nod?

To live for­ev­er is their dream;
Their hous­es by their name they call;
While, borne by time’s re­lent­less stream,
Around them wise and fool­ish fall;
Their rich­es oth­ers must divide;
They plant, but oth­ers reap the fruit;
In hon­or man can­not abide,
To death de­vot­ed, like the brute.

This is their fol­ly, this their way;
And yet in this their sons de­light;
Like sheep, of death the des­tined prey,
The fu­ture scorn of the up­right;
The grave their beau­ty shall con­sume,
Their dwell­ings ne­ver see them more;
But God shall raise me from the tomb,
And life for end­less time re­store.

What though thy foe in wealth in­crease,
And fame and glo­ry crown his head?
Fear not, for all at death shall cease,
Nor fame, nor glo­ry, crown the dead:
While pros­per­ing all around thee smiled,
Yet to the grave shalt thou des­cend;
The sense­less pride of for­tune’s child
Shall share the brute cre­ation’s end.