Psalms as poetry
Since I’ve been a songwriter for most of my life, I bet you wouldn’t guess that I really don’t enjoy poetry. Actually, I avoid it, it is usually so bad. BUT THIS… I love this! And I’m sure many people would, that’s why Henry Wordworth Longfellow is so famous. Excellence has lasting power. Enjoy!
A PSALM OF LIFE
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
Finds 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.
Keep praying. Keep singing.