A PSALM OF LIFE

Tell me not, in mournful numbers
Life is but an empty dream:
For 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 returneth,
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.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the burough of life
Be not like dumb driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife.

Trust no future however peasant!
Let the dead past bury it’s dead!
At-act in the glorious present!
Heart within and God over our head!

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

Footsteps 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.

-Henry W. Longfellow.

What do you think of this intriguing poem?

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