James Thomson

(11 September 1700 – 27 August 1748 / Ednam in Roxburghshire, Scotland)

A Complaint On The Miseries Of Life


I loathe, O Lord, this life below,
And all its fading fleeting joys;
'Tis a short space that's fill'd with woe,
Which all our bliss by far outweighs.
When will the everlasting morn
With dawning light the skies adorn?
Fitly this life's compared to night,
When gloomy darkness shades the sky;
Just like the morn's our glimmering light
Reflected from the Deity.
When will celestial morn dispel
These dark surrounding shades of hell?
I'm sick of this vexatious state,
Where cares invade my peaceful hours;
Strike the last blow, O courteous fate,
I'll smiling fall like mowed flowers;
I'll gladly spurn this clogging clay,
And, sweetly singing, soar away.
What's money but refined dust?
What's honours but an empty name?
And what is soft enticing lust,
But a consuming idle flame?
Yea, what is all beneath the sky
But emptiness and vanity?
With thousand ills our life's oppress'd,
There's nothing here worth living for
In the lone grave I long to rest,
And be harass'd here no more:
Where joy's fantastic, grief's sincere,
And where there's nought for which I care.
Thy word, O Lord, shall be my guide,
Heaven, where thou dwellest is my goal;
Through corrupt life grant I may glide
With an untainted upward soul.
Then may this life, this dreary night,
Dispelled be by morning light.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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