What is life! 'Tis but a vapor

What is life! 'Tis but a vapor

Author: Thomas Kelly
Published in 91 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 What is life? 'tis but a vapor,
Soon it vanishes away;
Life is like a dying taper:
O, my soul, why wish to stay?
Why not spread thy wings and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy?
Why not spread thy wings and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy?

2 See that glory, how resplendent!
Brighter far than fancy paints;
There, in majesty transcendent,
Jesus reigns, the King of saints.
Spread thy wings, my soul, and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy,
Spread thy wings, my soul, and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy.

3 Joyful crowds, his throne surrounding,
Sing with rapture of his love;
Thro' the heavens his praises sounding,
Filling all his courts above!
Spread thy wings, my soul, and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy,
Spread thy wings, my soul, and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy.

4 Go, and share his people's glory,
'Midst the ransomed crowd appear;
Thine a joyful, wondrous story,
One that angels love to hear.
Spread thy wings, my soul, and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy,
Spread thy wings, my soul, and fly
Straight to yonder world of joy.

Source: The Christian Sunday School Hymnal: a compilation of choice hymns and tunes for Sunday schools #131

Author: Thomas Kelly

Kelly, Thomas, B.A., son of Thomas Kelly, a Judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas, was born in Dublin, July 13, 1769, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was designed for the Bar, and entered the Temple, London, with that intention; but having undergone a very marked spiritual change he took Holy Orders in 1792. His earnest evangelical preaching in Dublin led Archbishop Fowler to inhibit him and his companion preacher, Rowland Hill, from preaching in the city. For some time he preached in two unconsecrated buildings in Dublin, Plunket Street, and the Bethesda, and then, having seceded from the Established Church, he erected places of worship at Athy, Portarlington, Wexford, &c, in which he conducted divine worship and preached. H… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: What is life! 'Tis but a vapor
Author: Thomas Kelly
Refrain First Line: Why not spread thy wings and fly

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The Cyber Hymnal #8027TextScoreAudio
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