Mather Byles

The Bloom of Life, fading in a happy Death.

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I.
Great GOD, how frail a Thing is Man!
How swift his Minutes pass!
His Age contracts within a Span;
He blooms and dies like Grass.

II.
Now in his Breast fresh Spirits dart,
And vital Vigour reigns:
His Blood pours rapid from his Heart,
And leaps along his Veins.

III.
His Eyes their sparkling Pleasure speak,
Joy flutters round his Head;
While Health still blossoms on his Cheek,
And adds the rosey Red.

IV.
Thus the fond Youth securely stands,
Nor dreams of a Decay--
At once he feels Death's Iron Hands,
His Soul is snatch'd away.

V.
Down to the Earth the Body drops,
Whence it was fram'd at first,
Forgets its former flatt'ring Hopes
And hastens to its Dust.

VI.
No more we view the wonted Grace;
The Eye-Balls roll no more:
A livid Horror spreads the Face
Where Beauty blaz'd before.

VII.
So the young Spring, with annual Green,
Renews the waving Grove;
And Riv'lets thro' the flow'ry Scene
In Silver Mazes rove.

VIII.
By tuneful Birds of ev'ry Wing,
Melodious Strains are play'd;
From Tree to Tree their Accents ring,
Soft-warbling thro' the Shade.

IX.
The painted Meads, and fragrant Fields,
A sudden Smile bestow:
A golden Gleam each Valley guilds,
Where numerous Beauties blow.

X.
A Thousand gaudy Colours flush
Each od'rous Mountain's Side:
Lillies turn fair, and Roses blush,
And Tulips spread their Pride.

XI.
Thus flourishes the wanton Year,
In rich Confusion gay,
Till Autumn bids the Bloom retire,
The Verdure fade away.

XII.
Succeeding Cold withers the Woods,
While hoary Winter reigns,
In Fetters binds the frozen Floods,
And shivers o'er the Plains.

XIII.
And must my Moments thus decline?
And must I sink to Death?
To Thee my Spirit I resign,
Thou Sov'reign of my Breath.

XIV.
JESUS my Life has dy'd, has rose:
I burn to meet his Charms!
Welcome the Pangs, the dying Throes,
That give me to his Arms.

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Mather Byles