Life Poems - Poems For Life - A Psalm Of 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

  • Freshman - 557 Points Alwi Shatry (6/16/2017)

    Lofty thoughts, eloquent diction. Yet, and with all due respect - - I am somewhat unsure that the vast majority of humanity will pay heed to Longfellow's clarion call to emulate the feats of great men Lives of great men.... I humbly submit that there may be greatness in humility and normalcy often ignored in the quest for greatness and a subliminal yearning for transcendence and (frequently) immortality. For me, the saving grace of this work lies in the lines that state Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! /Let the dead Past bury its dead! /Act, — act in the living Present! . Regardless, the ultimate question remains: how many deceased, immortalized greats are aware of their achievements when they were still alive? If they are, then death cannot be the final act. We really have no evidence that this is so - - other than by a leap of faith. A provocative poem nonetheless. (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Solomon Etim (5/14/2017 5:44:00 PM)

    Add a comment.Beautiful (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,694 Points 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

Read all 73 comments »

Poems About Life

  1. 1. A Psalm Of Life , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. 2. The Life That I Have , Leo Marks
  3. 3. Life , Charlotte Brontë
  4. 4. Life In A Love , Robert Browning
  5. 5. A Life-Lesson , James Whitcomb Riley
  6. 6. An Old Life , Donald Hall
  7. 7. O Me! O Life! , Walt Whitman
  8. 8. The Pleasures Of Ordinary Life , Judith Viorst
  9. 9. Life And Art , Emma Lazarus
  10. 10. The Buried Life , Matthew Arnold
  11. 11. What Is Life? , John Clare
  12. 12. My Life Closed Twice , Emily Dickinson
  13. 13. New Love, New Life , Amy Levy
  14. 14. Human Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  15. 15. A Plain Life , William Henry Davies
  16. 16. Ignorant Before The Heavens Of My Life , Rainer Maria Rilke
  17. 17. Life In A Bottle , Robert Browning
  18. 18. Full Of Life, Now , Walt Whitman
  19. 19. As I Ebb'D With The Ocean Of Life , Walt Whitman
  20. 20. Love In A Life , Robert Browning
  21. 21. An Image From A Past Life , William Butler Yeats
  22. 22. River Of Life, The , Thomas Campbell
  23. 23. Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  24. 24. Life Life Life Life Life Life Life Life .. , Abdul Wahab
  25. 25. A Life , Howard Nemerov
  26. 26. Too Much Of A Good Thing (Life Life Li.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  27. 27. Life Is What Life Is , Edward Veilleux
  28. 28. What Is Life? , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  29. 29. Life (The Real Meaning Of Life) , C.N.Premkumar (love poems, V ..
  30. 30. The Lords Of Life , Ralph Waldo Emerson
  31. 31. Each Life Converges To Some Centre , Emily Dickinson
  32. 32. Xxxvi Life-In-Love , Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  33. 33. The Life Of Man , Sir Francis Bacon
  34. 34. Life Is Love, And Love Is Life , Anna Jonson
  35. 35. The Course Of Life, Time, And Events And.. , Merlin Archivilla
  36. 36. How Life Is For Life , Muzahidul Reza
  37. 37. A Life Went Wrong.......The Denial Of Life , saadat tahir
  38. 38. Ebony Life , Robert Desnos
  39. 39. In The Morning Of Life , Thomas Moore
  40. 40. Still Life , Thom Gunn
  41. 41. A Life Of Death, Or The Death Of Life , Andre Veilleux
  42. 42. (c) 1 (Life/Philosophy) Life Is.... , Renu Rakheja a.k.a Tranquil ..
  43. 43. Life Beyond, The , Rupert Brooke
  44. 44. An Adventure In The Life Of King James V.. , William Topaz McGonagall
  45. 45. Views Of Life , Anne Brontë
  46. 46. The Treasure Of Life , Olive Walters
  47. 47. Modern Love Iv: All Other Joys Of Life , George Meredith
  48. 48. Ploughman's Life, The , Robert Burns
  49. 49. The Country Life: , Robert Herrick
  50. 50. Choice? (Life Life Life Life Life) , Udiah (witness to Yah)
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