Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow )
Did you read them?
- Fun never runs out!, PARTHA SARATHI PAUL
- The Passing Winds, Tex T Sarnie
- Too Few Words, Tex T Sarnie
- Wake up!, Md. Asadullah
- viper kiss, aaron jimenez
- बहाना/ Bahaanaa, Aftab Alam
- a dream, jaquesha webb
- I Go Far to Fetch the Truth, with Hope, Aftab Alam
- One a.m., Susan Lacovara
- The War Against Lopping, douglas scotney
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Conclusion, Sir Walter Raleigh
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Heather Burns
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)