February 9, 2008

A Psalm Of Life.


A Psalm Of Life

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;--

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

10 comments:

Maria said...

That was beautiful - I've never heard/read it before...

Danae said...

love it--thank you so much for posting it.

Flo Oakes said...

I once did an essay on this poem in high school, because it was my favorite:)

MoMar said...

crazy good !

Momar Again... said...

Oh, and great photo of the Mary D. Hume - I want to look as lovely when I am old and decrepit !

Talia said...

the last verse of that piece has been one of my FAVORITE quotes for a long time!! But I never knew where it actually came from, so thank you for posting this! Oh, the whole thing is just wonderfully beautiful.

piper of love said...

holy WOW! great goodness... yummy truth

Awake said...

I've come back to this post several times recently to re-read the poem. Lovely.

Andrea June said...

*sigh* I <3 Longfellow :)

Helen said...

this was a lovely post - I came over your blog after hitting several others and have no real idea how I ended up here, but I read a lot and like your blog very much...

This is just to say "hi" - I will be back for reading more :-)