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A Psalm of Life Analysis



Author: Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Type: Poetry Views: 2380





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 solenm 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.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Sorry for going out of the line, but thank you all, your comments are helpful enough to understand the poem in a much better fashion.
And I now believe my life\'s goal is definitely not a grave(It never was).

| Posted on 2011-05-17 | by a guest


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poet says to b in actino and leave other thing to GOD .great lesson.

| Posted on 2011-04-17 | by a guest


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the poem really make me motivate,striving in life is not that easy but Henry make a way to inspire other.Living life in a very simple and comportable manner.

| Posted on 2011-01-05 | by a guest


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Awesome. Longfellow expresses such deep inspiration to truly live one\'s life to the fullest, and accomplish all that one can through his writing.

| Posted on 2010-12-12 | by a guest


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I do believe in the after life. I plan to come back at a fish!!!

| Posted on 2010-04-27 | by a guest


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this poem was such an inspiration my wife an I made love to it in the kitichen.

| Posted on 2010-01-15 | by a guest


.: :.

nice poem..
it will help me to change some things in my life

| Posted on 2009-11-01 | by a guest


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i love this poem it is the best poem i have ever read and when i have a chance to read this poem i will be moved very much

| Posted on 2009-09-16 | by a guest


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this poem is absolutely amazing...it sends out a wonderful message...and is the only poem that we've read in english class, that i can actually understand and relate to!

| Posted on 2009-08-27 | by a guest


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Live your life to the fullest. Dream big. The poem can be simplified in those two sentences. ^^^

| Posted on 2009-07-15 | by a guest


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this is amazing... this peom is beautiful and incredibly true... i envy this poet's skills

| Posted on 2009-06-04 | by a guest


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I think this poem is the best remedy for those who are so consumed by the worries and uncertainties of life. For those seeking a way out or for those trying to find simpler and more manageable meaning in life.

| Posted on 2009-05-11 | by a guest


.: :.

x contains the new-age version
have fun reading it

| Posted on 2008-12-29 | by a guest




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