LIFE? What is life but fleeting bliss,
As transient as a lover's kiss,
Or like a flower
Of beauty and of fragrance rare
Which blooms, then vanishes in air,
In one short hour.
Unlike the flower, the soul will bloom,
Transplanted far above earth's gloom,
By God's vast power.
Life? What is life? 'Tis but a dream
Of weal or woe, a lightning's gleam,
That fades away.
Yet leaves its impress on the mind--
Some tie that memory will bind
98With Love's warm ray:
Or, like the fiery subtle light,
The thoughts of its destroying blight
May last for aye.
Life? What is life? A morning mist,
Which vanishes when e'er 'tis kissed
By Sol's rays bright;
'Tis but a silver-tinted cloud,
Which floats so beautifully proud
In realms of light.
But gaze beneath the silver crest,
You find, deep buried in its breast,
Storms dark as night.
Life? What is life? Hopes, bright hopes
Desire curbed, ambition checked,
By earthly scorn.
Vows, sacred vows, too lightly spoken;
Hearts filled with joy, neglected, broken,
99'Till at each dawn
The victim sighs for death's release--
For with death will all troubles cease,
And peace is born.
Life? What is life? A heaving sea,
Which take us to Eternity;
Its billows, Time
Upon whose waves our barks are mann'd,
By God's all-powerful command,
To other clime,--
Perchance our goal is land of night,
Or we may take the form of light
In realms sublime.
Life? what is life? that we should grieve
The transient pomps of earth to leave,
When we must see
That flowers bloom to fade away--
That joys last not, for e'en a day.
100That pleasures flee:
We know that in the land above
We shall redeemed by hand of love
All perfect be.
Then gladly should our souls rejoice
To hear our dear Redeemer's voice
Call us away.
Glad to exchange this land of night--
This land of sorrow and of blight--
For endless day;
Where, clothed in robes of spotless white,
We'll live in realms of boundless light,
For aye, and aye.