The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Eternity! Eternity!

For Advent

Version 2

Words: "O Ewigkeit! o Ewigkeit!", Daniel Wülffer, 1617-1685
"The first seven verses are from an old Hymn;
The last seven are by Wülffer."

Translation: Frances Elizabeth Cox

Music: Pfalzenbuch, 1557

Source: J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #38, pp. 54-5.

1. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!

Yet onward still to thee we speed,
As to the fight th' impatient steed,
As ship to port, or shaft from bow,
Or swift as couriers homeward go:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

2. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
As in a ball's concentric round
Nor starting-point nor end is found,
So thou, Eternity, so vast,
No entrance nor no exit hast:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

3. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
A ring whose orbit still extends,
And, ne'er beginning, never ends;
"Always" thy centre, Ring immense!
And "Never" thy circumference:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

4. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
Came there a bird each thousandth year,
One sand-grain from the hills to bear,
When all had vanish'd, grain by grain,
Eternity would still remain:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

5. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
As long as God shall God remain,
So long shall hast hell's endless pain,
So long the joys of heaven shall be:
O long delight! long misery!
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

6. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
O man! let oft thy musings dwell
Upon the dreadful woes of hell,
Oft on the saints' all glorious lot,
For both shall last when Time is not:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

7. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
The thought of thee in pain, how dread.
In joy how bright thy prospects spread!
For here God's goodness glads our eyes,
And there His justice terrifies:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

8. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
Who here lived poor and fore distress'd,
Now truly rich, with God doth rest;
With joys consoled for all his ill,
He lives to praise God's goodness still:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

9. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
A moment's pleasure sinners know,
Through which they pass to endless woe:
A moment's woe the righteous taste,
Through which to endless joy they haste:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

10. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
Who looks to thee alone is wise,
Sin's pleasures all he can despise;
The world attracts him now no more,
His love for vain delights is o'er:
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

11. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
Who thinks of thee speaks thus with God,
"Here prove me with thy chast'ning rod,
Oh! let me here thy judgments bear,
Hereafter, Lord, in mercy spare!"
Mark well, O Man, Eternity!

12. Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
"O Man! I warn thee, think of me,
Think oft on me, Eternity;
For I the sinner's woe shall prove,
And recompense of pious love!"
Mark well, O man, Eternity!

Sheet Music from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #38, pp. 54-5.

Note: For the music, see: Eternity! Eternity! - Version 1 (with translation by Rev. J. H. Hopkins). See also Eternity! Eternity! - Version 3 (Translation by Catherine Winkworth).

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