Teach Me the Measure of My Days

Full Text

1 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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 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.

5 What should I wish or wait for then
From creatures, earth and dust,
They make our expectations vain,
And disappoint our trust.

6 Now I forbid my carnal hope,
My fond desires recall!
I give my mortal interest up,
And make my God my all.

Select Psalms and Hymns for the Use of Mr. Adgate's Pupils, 1787

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Teach me the measure of my days
Title: Teach Me the Measure of My Days
Author: Isaac Watts
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Language: English

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