Oft in vain the voice of truth,
Solemnly and loudly warns;
Thoughtless, inexperienced youth,
Though it hears, the warning scorns:
Youth in fancyâs glass surveys
Life prolonged to distant years;
While the vast, imagined space,
Filled with sweets and joys appears.
Aweful disappointment, soon
Overclouds the prospect gay!
Some their sun goes down at noon,
Torn by deathâs strong hand away:
Where are then their pleasing schemes?
Where the joys they hoped to find?
Gone for ever, like their dreams,
Leaving not a trace behind.
Others, who are spared awhile,
Live to weep oâer fancyâs cheat;
Find distress, and pain, and toil,
Bitter things instead of sweet:
Sin has spread a curse around,
Poisoned all things here below;
On this base polluted ground,
Peace and joy can never grow.
Grace alone can cure our ills,
Sweeten life, with all its cares;
Regulate our stubborn wills,
Save us from surrounding snares
Though you oft have heard in vain,
Former years in folly spent;
Grace invites you yet again,
Once more calls you to repent.
Called again, at length, beware,
Hear the Saviorâs voice, and live;
Lest he in his wrath should swear,
He no more will warning give:
Pray, that you may hear and feel,
Ere the day of grace be past;
Lest your hearts grow hard as steel,
Or this year should prove your last.
John Newton, The Olney Hymns