The doctor's news falls hard upon him;
The hammer "cancer" deals a deathly blow,
Enough to shatter all philosophy
Stagger him in wheeling woe.
"My hunting gear and books and orchard
No longer hold my heart so dear
As they did just a week ago."
"Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may ****;
God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever."*
Old Luther told us plain and clear
Our anchor rusts if it be here.
On earthly shores, the harlot, Time
Demands we leave our pelf behind.
But still we gather up our things,
Amass our wealth, our riches sing,
Only to leave them, bit by soiled bit...
Wanting everything, but keeping none of it.
Time is a friend who's getting on;
She forgets promises she made in youth,
Gives the hope of summer coming strong,
Steals strength and hope and hair and tooth.
*From Book of Wisdom by John Gill (2009): "When a Christian is suddenly confronted with the sentence of death, he surely begins a proper evaluation of material things: my fishing gear, and books, and orchard are not nearly so valuable as they were a week ago." (p.270)
**Martin Luther, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"