Time slips through my fingers
as the naked iron rusts;
cursèd flesh, in vain draw breath,
and toil as you must.
Youth is soon forgotten,
and innocence soon lost;
the heart yearns for eternity
as it pays the mortal cost.
My hands cannot restrain the wind,
nor captivate its gusts;
the flowers bloom and fade away,
and dust returns to dust.
The fruit of life is bittersweet,
and bears a fell reward;
all who taste its tainted stores
draw debt none can afford.
Fallen, all of Adam’s seed!
Yes—surely—you must die.
A cancer of defiance thrives
beneath your haughty eyes.
But where is hope that it should live
beyond the tainted veil?
And should this life, beyond the grave,
not make its home in hell?
Have you not seen? Have you not heard
the hope of Heaven’s Son?
His sacrifice has paid the price,
and death is on the run.
His hope descends into the dark,
and shadows disappear.
Beams of light break through the crags,
and death draws back in fear.
Shock waves quake and split the earth;
death’s shroud is at an end.
Dungeons in the darkest depths
hear laughter’s life descend.
Announce to every prisoner
O captive—you are free!
Shake off the dust of death and dance!
This is your Jubilee.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.