Friday, April 30, 2010

Poetry Friday - A Psalm of Life

It is the last day of National Poetry Month, but there will always be poetry, on Friday and every day in between. Today I'm sharing a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
A Psalm of Life
What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist

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.
The round up is being hosted by Mary Ann of Great Kid Books. Do stop by and take in all the wonderful poems being shared this week. Before you go, be sure to check out this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday all!


  1. All-righty-then! I'm sitting up a little straighter and filled with energy for the day now!

  2. What an inspiring poem!

    Laura Evans