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C. M.

The vanity of man as mortal.


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.

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.

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.

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.

What should I wish or wait for, then,

From creatures earth and dust?

They make our expectations vain,

And disappoint our trust.

Now I forbid my carnal hope,

My fond desires recall;

I give my mortal interest up,

And make my God my all.

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