Fading Nature (Stephen Jenks)

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  • (Posted 2016-04-09)   CPDL #39259:  Icon_pdf.gif
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2016-04-09).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 70 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). Version of 1807, with words by Anne Steele. All seven stanzas of Steele's poem included.

General Information

Title: Fading Nature
First Line: So fades the lovely, blooming flower (Steele)
First Line: Thousands of journeys, night and day (Anonymous)
Composer: Stephen Jenks
Lyricist: Anne Steele

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 88. 88 (L.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

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Description: First published in The Hartford Collection, 1807, p. 44, with words by Anne Steele, 1760, in seven stanzas. Extensively revised by Jenks in 1818, with anonymous words.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

So fades the lovely, blooming flower,
Frail, smiling solace of an hour!
So soon our transient comforts fly,
And pleasure only blooms to die!

To certain trouble we are born,
Hope to rejoice, but sure to mourn.
Ah wretched effort! sad relief,
To plead necessity of grief!

Is there no kind, no lenient art
To heal the anguish of the heart?
To ease the heavy load of care.
Which nature must, but cannot bear?

Can reason's dictates be obeyed?
Too weak, alas, her strongest aid!
O let religion then be nigh,
Her comforts were not made to die.


Her powerful aid supports the soul,
And nature owns her kind control;
While she unfolds the sacred page,
Our fiercest griefs resign their rage.

Then gentle patience smiles on pain,
And dying hope revives again;
Hope wipes the tear from sorrow's eye,
And faith points upward to the sky.

The promise guides her ardent flight,
And joys unknown to sense invite,
Those blissful regions to explore,
Where pleasure blooms to fade no more.


Thousands of journeys, night and day,
I have rode weary on the way,
To heal the sick, but now am gone
A journey, never to return.


To Amira, on the death of her child
by Anne Steele, 1760


Anonymous, New England doctor's gravestone