Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > Hymns of the Christian Church
   Hymns of the Christian Church.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Latin Hymns
Hic Breve Vivitur
From “De Contemptu Mundi” By Bernard of Morlaix. Tr. J. M. Neale (cir. 1125)
BRIEF life is here our portion,
  Brief sorrow, short-lived care;
The life that knows no ending,
  The tearless life, is there.
And after fleshly scandal,        5
  And after this world’s night,
And after storm and whirlwind,
  Is calm and joy and light.
There grief is turned to pleasure,
  Such pleasure as, below,        10
No human voice can utter,
  No human heart can know:
The peace of all the faithful,
  The calm of all the blest,
Inviolate, unvaried,        15
  Divinest, sweetest, best.
That peace,—but who may claim it?
  The guileless in their way,
Who keep the ranks of battle,
  Who mean the thing they say.        20
Strive, man, to win that glory,
  Toil, man, to gain that light,
Send hope before to grasp it,
  Till hope be lost in sight!


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