Psalm 49 - Part One.
Verses 6-14. Pride and death;
or, The vanity of life and riches.
1 Why doth the man of riches grow
To insolence and pride,
To see his wealth and honours flow
With every rising tide?
2 [Why doth he treat the poor with scorn,
Made of the self-same clay,
And boast as tho' his flesh was born
Of better dust than they?]
3 Not all his treasures can procure
His soul a short reprieve,
Redeem from death one guilty hour,
Or make his brother live.
4 [Life is a blessing can't be sold,
The ransom is too high;
Justice will ne'er be brib'd with gold
That man may never die.]
5 He sees the brutish and the wise,
The timorous and the brave,
Quit their possessions, close their eyes,
And hasten to the grave.
6 Yet 'tis his inward thought and pride, -
"My house shall ever stand;
"And that my name may long abide,
"I'll give it to my land."
7 Vain are his thoughts, his hopes are lost,
How soon his memory dies!
His name is written in the dust
Where his own carcass lies.
8 This is the folly of their way;
And yet their sons, as vain,
Approve the words their fathers say,
And act their works again.
9 Men void of wisdom and of grace,
If honour raise them high.
Live like the beast, a thoughtless race,
And like the beast they die.
10 Laid in the grave like silly sheep,
Death feeds upon them there,
Till the last trumpet break their sleep
In terror and despair.
Psalm 49 - Part Two.
Verses 14-15. Death and the resurrection.
1 Ye sons of pride, that hate the just,
And trample on the poor,
When death has brought you down to dust,
Your pomp shall rise no more,
2 The last great day shall change the scene;
When will that hour appear?
When shall the just revive, and reign
O'er all that scorn'd them here?
3 God will my naked soul receive,
When sep'rate from the flesh;
And break the prison of the grave
To raise my bones afresh.
4 Heaven is my everlasting home,
Th' inheritance is sure;
Let men of pride their rage resume,
But I'll repine no more.
The rich sinner's death, and the saint's resurrection.
1 Why do the proud insult the poor,
And boast the large estates they have?
How vain are riches to secure
Their haughty owners from the grave!
2 They can't redeem one hour from death,
With all the wealth in which they trust;
Nor give a dying brother breath,
When God commands him down to dust.
3 There the dark earth and dismal shade
Shall clasp their naked bodies round;
That flesh, so delicately fed,
Lies cold, and moulders in the ground.
4 Like thoughtless sheep the sinner dies,
Laid in the grave for worms to eat;
The saints shall in the morning rise,
And find th' oppressor at their feet.
5 His honours perish in the dust,
And pomp and beauty, birth and blood:
That glorious day exalts the just
To full dominion o'er the proud.
6 My Saviour shall my life restore,
And raise me from my dark abode;
My flesh and soul shall part no more,
But dwell for ever near my God.