Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Psalm of Life

Be in the present moment ! How many times have we heard that simple ,yet very profound statement. I can't put a finger at what point in my life, my mind started drifting on its own. It either is busy recollecting the past or dreaming of what could be in the future, while I am in fact acting in the present. Just being aware that this is happening took a long.. time. This poem in another reminder to act & to live every moment as if it were our last ! A fitting resolution for every new year, infact every day, every moment.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

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.

1 comment:

Vinod said...

Thanks for adding this poem Ashwini. One of my favorites. An interesting thing about this poem is that Longfellow, initially titled the poem "A Psalm of Death"; and later on (post publication) changed it to "A Psalm of Life". Personally I like the latter title a lot more, given the "live in the moment" positive attitude espoused in the verses.