Christ My Song - 1492
Can then the world make no provision - The vanity of the world
(Carl Johann Philipp Spitta/Richard Massie/
Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
The vanity of the world.
1. Can then the world make no provision
for human happiness below?
Is all she gives us but a vision,
a fleeting dream, an empty show?
Her burdens are so hard to bear,
her pleasures lighter than the air! PDF - Midi
2. Her life is but an endless striving,
a never fought-out battle-field,
a fruitless toil, a vain contriving,
a sorrow which remains unhealed,
a sleep which gives no rest, a breath,
an every day repeated death.
3. Sometimes we spend the hours in trying
their weary dullness to beguile,
now we complain that they are flying,
and cry, "Sweet hours, O stay awhile;"
sometimes we wish to flee away,
sometimes on earth would ever stay.
4. Now draughts of flattery we are drinking
from poisoned cups, and now we try
to drown remorse, and silence thinking
by noisy mirth and revelry;
now scoff at God, and now give vent
to murmuring and discontent.
5. Meantime both head and heart are hollow
in midst of riot and excess,
and on enjoyment quickly follow
satiety and weariness;
we feast, and yet have not our fill,
we sleep, and yet are weary still.
6. We make provision every minute
for the poor tenement of clay,
and leave the soul who dwells within it
to pine and languish day by day;
the pampered body takes its ease,
she sits at home and languishes.
7. While thus, uncared for and neglected,
averse from God she pines away,
death comes upon us unexpected,
and pulling down our house of clay,
turns out the soul from time, to be
a tenant of eternity.
8. Make me, O God, not earthly-minded,
but thine in Jesus Christ to be,
that by the world no longer blinded,
I may devote my heart to thee,
and in not of the world be found,
a shining light to all around.
Richard Massie, Lyra Domestica I, 1863, 71-72.
Translated from the German Was hat die Welt für wahre Freude? - Die Eitelkeit der Welt of Carl Johann Philipp Spitta.