Life Poems - Poems For Life

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A Psalm Of Life - Poem 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 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.


Comments about A Psalm Of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Silver Star - 3,081 Points Atasha Williams (2/24/2016 9:09:00 AM)

    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. (Report) Reply

    6 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 0 Points Deborah Patterson (9/11/2015 9:28:00 PM)

    My beloved Mother wrote this is in my 6th grade autograph book. I have never forgotten the part that says lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and departing leave behind us footprints on the sands of time. I miss my Mother but she lives in my heart. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,634 Points Soumita Sarkar (9/6/2015 8:56:00 AM)

    What an antithesis of words..daring..yet so alive to the truth of live...hopeful and so inspiring.....Loved it.Thanks Dear Soul Longfellow....we shall follow..... (Report) Reply

Read all 47 comments »

Poems About Life

  1. 1. A Psalm Of Life , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. 2. Life Is Fine , Langston Hughes
  3. 3. The Life That I Have , Leo Marks
  4. 4. Life , Charlotte Brontë
  5. 5. Life In A Love , Robert Browning
  6. 6. A Life-Lesson , James Whitcomb Riley
  7. 7. An Old Life , Donald Hall
  8. 8. O Me! O Life! , Walt Whitman
  9. 9. The Pleasures Of Ordinary Life , Judith Viorst
  10. 10. What Is Life? , John Clare
  11. 11. My Life Closed Twice , Emily Dickinson
  12. 12. The Buried Life , Matthew Arnold
  13. 13. Ignorant Before The Heavens Of My Life , Rainer Maria Rilke
  14. 14. Human Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  15. 15. Life And Art , Emma Lazarus
  16. 16. New Love, New Life , Amy Levy
  17. 17. Love In A Life , Robert Browning
  18. 18. Full Of Life, Now , Walt Whitman
  19. 19. As Life Was Five , Jimmy Santiago Baca
  20. 20. As I Ebb'D With The Ocean Of Life , Walt Whitman
  21. 21. Life In A Bottle , Robert Browning
  22. 22. A Plain Life , William Henry Davies
  23. 23. An Image From A Past Life , William Butler Yeats
  24. 24. Later Life , Christina Georgina Rossetti
  25. 25. What Is Life? , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  26. 26. A Life , Howard Nemerov
  27. 27. Life , Henry Van Dyke
  28. 28. Life (The Real Meaning Of Life) , C.N.Premkumar (love poems, V ..
  29. 29. Life Life Life Life Life Life Life Life .. , Abdul Wahab
  30. 30. When Life , Jimmy Santiago Baca
  31. 31. Too Much Of A Good Thing (Life Life Li.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  32. 32. Life Is What Life Is , Edward Veilleux
  33. 33. Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  34. 34. Each Life Converges To Some Centre , Emily Dickinson
  35. 35. The Life Of Man , Sir Francis Bacon
  36. 36. The Lords Of Life , Ralph Waldo Emerson
  37. 37. Xxxvi Life-In-Love , Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  38. 38. River Of Life, The , Thomas Campbell
  39. 39. Life , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  40. 40. Still Life , Thom Gunn
  41. 41. Life Is Love, And Love Is Life , Anna Jonson
  42. 42. Life , George Herbert
  43. 43. Artist's Life , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  44. 44. The Course Of Life, Time, And Events And.. , Merlin Archivilla
  45. 45. Still-Life , Elizabeth Daryush
  46. 46. Ebony Life , Robert Desnos
  47. 47. A Life Went Wrong.......The Denial Of Life , saadat tahir
  48. 48. A Psalm Of Labouring Life , Franklin Pierce Adams
  49. 49. The River Of Life , Thomas Campbell
  50. 50. The Lamp Of Life , Amy Lowell
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