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A psalm of life
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 thou return-est’,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
finds us father than today.
Art 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 sand of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’ev 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 labour and wait.
a psalm a song, hymn
mournful numbers sorrowful songs
slumbers sleeps(the soul, if inactive, is dead)
Dust. …returnest a quotation from the Bible regarding the mortality of the human body
act to do one’s duty
fleeting passing quickly
Art learning, knowledge
muffled at a funeral, drums are covered with a cloth to deaden the sound and make it more solemn
bivouac a temporary, camp used by soldiers (a French word)
footprint in the sands of time Great deeds in the history of man,
be not …. strife Do not submit.Fight
departing when we die
a forlorn and shipwrecked brother one who has failed in life and is distressed at his own moral and material ruin
heart for any fate courage to face any situation
shall take heart again Others following us will know that we too have had the experiences and shall overcome hardships.