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Friday, March 16, 2007

Poetry Friday: A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For a bit of inspiration this Poetry Friday, read this lovely poem:

A Psalm of Life
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.

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.

Liz B. from A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy heads up Poetry Friday this week! Visit her to enter your own poetry submission or to discover some new poems to enchant your day.


Mitali Perkins said...

definitely inspiring, thank you, i love the idea of leaving footprints behind so that someone shipwrecked can take heart again ...

Erin said...

This is wonderful, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of my favorite poets.

jules said...

Ditto to what Mitali said about that one line. Good Poetry Friday choice! Thanks for sharing.

HipWriterMama said...

Thanks Mitali, Erin and Jules for visiting!

Nancy said...

Lovely choice!

HipWriterMama said...

Thank you Nancy! I really enjoyed your answers to Mother Reader's meme.