Poem Hunter
Loss And Gain
(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

Loss And Gain

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

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Comments (13)

Longfellow's has woven magic with the myriad simplicity of life!
Every human being is like a drop of water in a moving ocean. Moreover, each inner introspection has a complex meaning to understand this ephemeral evolution in a society containing different people in different periods of time.
Sometimes we humans can get a little too goal-oriented. When you're pressing onward, upward, you are focused on the goal and what will help you get to the goal. It is better to have - -idle- - time in which we can relax, read, watch a bird troll for a worm, watch our children play tiddly-winks, pray, ..... all those idle activities that fill our souls with good things. There is gain to be had in such things. Love Longfellow.
Philosophy of life is reflected in following nugget of wisdom: Defeat may be victory is disguise; The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. A great poem. Thanks for sharing it here.
Even those idle days somehow prepare us internally for what we want to achieve. Very thoughtful poem.
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