Another poem that inspires me is ‘A Psalm of Life’ by Longfellow.
What do I take from this poem? Let me share a few random musings with you…
It serves to remind me that life is short, so you have to make the best of it, and what you have, today. Don’t gamble today away with hopes of tomorrow, because there is no certainty in what tomorrow may bring.
I am reminded to practice mindfulness, to put my effort, thought and concentration into today, rather than worry about what happened yesterday or feeling anxious about what might happen tomorrow.
Above all, this poem, to me at any rate, inspires hope.
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 are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.
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 sand 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 labour and to wait.