A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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Thread: A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  1. #1

    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.



    One of my favorite poems ever!

  2. #2
    the rhyming to me is a bit forced

  3. #3
    /\ Jill, this was posted 'bot two and a half years ago.
    Longfellow wrote this a century and a half ago. If the meter did not appeal to your modern pallet, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of poets since Longfellow that may be more to your taste.
    Regardless, welcome to WF. I think we all look forward to your contribution to the community.

    "Now let's all agree, never to be creative again."




  4. #4
    Still a great poem!

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