Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

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

  • Cynthia Osta (11/19/2017 3:36:00 AM)


    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!
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Kishor Kumar Mishra (10/29/2017 9:19:00 PM)


    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;

    These nice lines inspire and encourage us to go on with the life. A very good poem. Thanks for sharing.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/28/2017 2:59:00 PM)


    trust no future, however pleasant...great a poem (Report) Reply

  • (10/3/2017 3:38:00 AM)


    This has just replaced my favorite poem. I have always read this but it made its biggest sense today (Report) Reply

  • Lea- Beima Dorestin (9/5/2017 9:07:00 PM)


    This is is an amazing poem which everyone can relate to. (Report) Reply

  • Sanjukta Sahoo (9/4/2017 11:55:00 PM)


    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.
    Beautiful.
    10++
    (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (9/1/2017 10:19:00 AM)


    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 on the sand of time.
    Great pom.
    10+++++
    (Report) Reply

  • Mohit Katyal (7/11/2017 1:45:00 AM)


    liked it so much! ! ! ! very nicely written (Report) Reply

  • (5/14/2017 5:44:00 PM)


    Add a comment.Beautiful (Report) Reply

  • Obigod Chidi Cece (4/20/2017 2:12:00 PM)


    I will be a food in the fight. Mehn! I love this poem (Report) Reply

  • Tapan M. Saren (4/14/2017 10:51:00 AM)


    This is a very beautiful poem reflecting life. I love this one. (Report) Reply

  • Ash Frost (3/26/2017 10:39:00 AM)


    love it my mind is get relaxed (Report) Reply

  • Ash Frost (3/26/2017 10:30:00 AM)


    life of my dreamed poem (Report) Reply

  • Amar Agarwala (1/28/2017 7:26:00 PM)


    The Classical Master at his best. (Report) Reply

  • Neptune Barman (1/21/2017 8:34:00 AM)


    Life is described completely with few words...great writing (Report) Reply

  • Prem Katoch (1/4/2017 4:00:00 AM)

    A Psalm Of Life
    It is the most inspiring for every age (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (1/1/2017 2:37:00 PM)

    tom allport
    a truly inspirational poem. (Report) Reply

  • (12/30/2016 1:57:00 PM)


    future is always hiden so never think mush on it but u can predict from the logical past and present

    here are my Poem :)
    https: //just-anthropos.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html
    hope you gonna like it as i do ;)
    (Report) Reply

  • Bisy Untan (12/1/2016 8:15:00 PM)


    Life is a path to wads perfection. The truth of life is unfolded to the humble readers, O'great poet! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Sixtus Unfailingdreams Osim (12/1/2016 4:12:00 PM)

    poesy live forever
    Trust no future, however pleasant!
    but then, do not fail to look ahead...a very scenic piece. I love it!
    (Report) Reply

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# 41 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: funeral, hero, brother, trust, future, fate, sorrow, today, dream, life, heart, time, world, god



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Monday, May 27, 2013


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