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Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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.
COMMENTS
Rose Marie Juan-austin 12 January 2021
A powerful and inspiring poem. So beautifully written.Liked the closure lines.
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John S 08 November 2020
Trochiac tetrameter with slight variations here and there. I love the flow of its meter. Hearts beating funeral marches to the grave. “Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time; “ Beautifully written. I hope it’s true and there is an afterlife! ! !
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John S 08 November 2020
Trochiac tetrameter with slight variations here and there. I love the flow of its meter. Hearts beating funeral marches to the grave. “Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time; “ Beautifully written. I hope it’s true and there is an afterlife! ! !
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Subhas Chandra Chakra 21 October 2020
Beautiful delivery of the innate meaning of a life worth living. Loved this one since the days of High School. I would love to translate in my mother tongue, Odia.
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Rajnish Manga 14 October 2020
A classical poem with a great message for every one- man, woman, young and old. I would like to translate this brilliant piece of poetry into Hindi.
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Words of encouragemnt pitted agaiinst the pitfalls of human civilization.
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