A Psalm of Life
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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 worlds broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Thrust no future,howeer pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act-act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God oerhead!
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 oer lifes solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us , then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any face;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.