Lord, let me know mine end
Lord, let me know mine end, and the number of my days,
that I may be certified how long I have to live.
Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long,
and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee;
And verily every man living is altogether vanity.
For man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain;
he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.
And now, Lord, what is my hope? truly my hope is even in thee.
Hear my prayer, 0 Lord, and with thine ears consider my calling;
hold not thy peace at my tears.
O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength,
before I go hence, and be no more seen.
Maurice Greene (1695-1755)
Organist of St. Paul's Cathedral and of the Chapel Royal of George II.