In vain the wealthy mortals toil

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General information

This is an hymn by Isaac Watts, his Hymn 24 of Book 1, published 1709.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

In vain the wealthy mortals toil,
And heap their shining dust in vain,
Look down and scorn the humble poor,
And boast their lofty hills of gain.

Their golden cordials cannot ease
Their pained hearts or aching heads,
Nor fright nor bribe approaching death
From glittering roofs and downy beds.

The lingering, the unwilling soul
The dismal summons must obey,
And bid a long, a sad farewell
To the pale lump of lifeless clay.

Thence they are huddled to the grave,
Where kings and slaves have equal thrones;
Their bones without distinction lie
Amongst the heap of meaner bones.

The rich sinner dying by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 49:6,9; Ecclesiastes 8:8; and Job 3:14,15

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