Worldly Bliss
(inspired by the middle-English song "Worldes Blis")

Worldly Bliss ne'er lasts for long.
She breathes and dies away in song.
She comes and fades like morning dew,
And leaves the heart to sigh and rue.

Precious rosebud in the spring,
She dies with summer's vanishing,
And like a love gone to the tomb,
No prayers, no tears can bring her home.

Man who wants is filled with pain;
He hungers for another's gain.
Yet on attaining to that height,
Anon he counts his blessings slight.

And then, when all his gains are lost,
He wails in grief and counts the cost.
His youth, his love, his child or kin,
On dying shall be dear to him.

So tell me, then, if it is odd
That Man should weep and wail to God,
That Man should fret with bow and plea
Before the ghost of Deity?

But let us pray, though it be in vain,
For all the world's a place of pain,
And Man must long for afterlife
To recompense his fruitless strife.

Could but our joy in lesser things
Be greater than the wealth of kings,
We might forsake the barren heights
For food and drink and love's delights,

But these must pass like fruit and flower,
Wilting each beyond their hour,
And leave us agéd and forlorn
To grieve and long for joys unborn.

So let us chase a dream that may
Rise from us as we pass away,
For else, we fall in Life's abyss,
This world with its ne'er-lasting Bliss.

George Chadderdon © 2005