The vanity of man as mortal.
Teach me the measure of my days,
Thou Maker of my frame;
I would survey life's narrow space,
And learn how frail I am.
A span is all that we can boast,
An inch or two of time;
Man is but vanity and dust
In all his flower and prime.
See the vain race of mortals move
Like shadows o'er the plain;
They rage and strive, desire and love,
But all the noise is vain.
Some walk in honor's gaudy show,
Some dig for golden ore;
They toil for heirs, they know not who,
And straight are seen no more.
What should I wish or wait for, then,
From creatures earth and dust?
They make our expectations vain,
And disappoint our trust.
Now I forbid my carnal hope,
My fond desires recall;
I give my mortal interest up,
And make my God my all.