A Psalm of Life
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
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.
Art is long, and Time is
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field
In the bivouac of life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er
Let the dead Past bury its dead.
Act, -- act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
Footprints, that perhaps
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us then be up and
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow