Sunday, September 19, 2010

Alas, How Swift the Moments Fly

If you haven't ever visited NetHymnal it's well worth taking the time. It's a wonderful resource for identifying both popular and obscure hymnody, complete with musical accompaniment. This morning, I located a piece which had peculiar resonance for me.

Alas! how swift the moments fly!
How flash the years along!
Scarce here, yet gone already by,
The burden of a song.
See childhood, youth, and manhood pass,
And age, with furrowed brow;
Time was—Time shall be—drain the glass—
But where in Time is now?

Time is the measure but of change;
No present hour is found;
The past, the future, fill the range
Of Time’s unceasing round.
Where, then is now? In realms above,
With God’s atoning Lamb,
In regions of eternal love,
Where sits enthroned I AM.

Then pilgrim, let thy joys and tears
On Time no longer lean;
But henceforth all thy hopes and fears
From earth’s affections wean:
To God let votive accents rise;
With truth, with virtue, live;
So all the bliss that Time denies
Eternity shall give.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)