A Psalm Of Life

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.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Comments (3)

It's happening everywhere, so many good buildings being knocked down to build some monstrosity. How some of the designs pass the planning stage I'll never know. But we are powerless to stop it! Money talks! Sincerely Ernestine Northover.
'The demolition crews are out, And twice this week, I saw Crunching into brick and steel, A huge crane's T-rex maw.' Max, the last two verses of this stanza need to swap places, I think. The demolition crews are out, And twice this week, I saw A huge crane's T-rex maw. Crunch into brick and steel,
'The skyline of the mind Adjusts to what we see. I'll scarce be able to recall The way it used to be. ' WOW! that doesn't apply to buildings or changes to the city as it expands, it applies to life in general! Excellent work! HBH