Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Psalm of Life ~ Longfellow

Waiting to Sail

A Psalm of Life 

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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.
Be not Slumbering in restlessness or be Languid in your thoughts. Instead seek to leave behind footprints in the sandy, slippery life that may encourage another. 
Labor not in vain. Leave your trail to help another take heart.
Before me someone left footprints that help to buoy my soul when I am feeling lost on that beach. Some other Soul Labored in and out of the waves that seek to pull us down and I benefit from their wisdom of jumping waves.. 
So now I am Learning to Labor in that muck and to Wait........
Always Blessed, 


  1. Beautiful poem - great closing thoughts.
    Just stopping by, thanks, Jenn


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