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Posts Tagged ‘Pursuing’

“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.

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born this date (2/27/1807) in Port­land, Maine.

He was one of the greatest poets of America.  See also his “Oh, How Blest Are Ye Whose Toils Are Ended” And his well known Christmas Carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”  He died 3/24/1882.

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While on a walk down a deserted track,

Pursuing so far and about to turn back,

My eyes beheld in the midst of a field,

A scene, that to my mind did yield,

Visions of days long passed, of yore,

Imagination supplied the details of “before.” [1]

 

Gone are the boys who slid the stair rail,

The man who returned with the ivory-brimmed pail.

Gone are the boys who read by the fire,

Pumping answers from their reading sire.

Gone is the fair miss, whose smile was near heaven,

The mother whose bread was fluffy with leaven.

 

And gone is the bride from this portal, to her own,

Light heartily laughing, a lady full grown.

Gone are the moments of sorrow and pain,

As are the blissful hours of lawful gain.

Gone are the moments of twinkle and mirth,

Shared by mortals who’ve passed from this earth.

 

The candle lights the study nevermore.

The flickering flames dance not on the floor.

The wood is decayed – the wall is rent,

The windows are gone, the roof is bent.

The shell of a house lies cold in the sun,

Its usefulness over, its story all run.

 

And only the mind sees the scenes of the past,

Realizing that memories alone will last.  -eab 2/79


[1] Was out thinking and praying along old RR track west of Friendsville, Tennessee (near old quarry where we got a fair amount of dead and/or down wood) and my imagination caught these sights. 

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