Oh! Why should the spirit of mortal be proud

Last Sunday, I concluded Genesis 25:1 – 11 reflecting on Abraham’s death entitled “End of the Pilgrimage Road.” By common grace, many have reflected beautifully on the unfaltering march of time, and our mortal coil. A favorite poem of Abraham Lincoln, Knox’s words capture the spirit of “all flesh is grass,” but it lacks the hope of “but the Word of the Lord remains.” Nevertheless, his words capture a peculiar beauty, and a message that our death-ignoring would do well to remember.


by: William Knox (1789-1825)

OH! why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
Man passeth from life to his rest in the grave.

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around, and together be laid;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high
Shall molder to dust and together shall lie.

The infant a mother attended and loved;
The mother that infant’s affection who proved;
The husband that mother and infant who blessed,–
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.

The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure,–her triumphs are by;
And the memory of those who loved her and praised
Are alike from the minds of the living erased. Continue reading