Henry Wadsworth Longfellow(27 February 1807 - 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)
A Psalm of Life
- by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow335
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.
A Gleam of Sunshine
- by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow267
This is the place. Stand still, my steed, Let me review the scene, And summon from the shadowy Past The forms that once have been.
The Past and Present here unite Beneath Time's flowing tide, Like footprints hidden by a brook, But seen on either side.
Here runs the highway to the town; There the green lane descends, Through which I walked to church with thee, O gentlest of my friends!
The shadow of the linden-trees Lay moving on the grass; Between them and the moving boughs, A shadow, thou didst pass.
Thy dress was like the lilies, And thy heart as pure as they: One of God's holy messengers Did walk with me that day.
I saw the branches of the trees Bend down thy touch to meet, The clover-blossoms in the grass Rise up to kiss thy feet,
"Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares, Of earth and folly born!" Solemnly sang the village choir On that sweet Sabbath morn.
Through the closed blinds the golden sun Poured in a dusty beam, Like the celestial ladder seen By Jacob in his dream.
And ever and anon, the wind, Sweet-scented with the hay, Turned o'er the hymn-book's fluttering leaves That on the window lay.
Long was the good man's sermon, Yet it seemed not so to me; For he spake of Ruth the beautiful, And still I thought of thee.
Long was the prayer he uttered, Yet it seemed not so to me; For in my heart I prayed with him, And still I thought of thee.
But now, alas! the place seems changed; Thou art no longer here: Part of the sunshine of the scene With thee did disappear.
Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart, Like pine-trees dark and high, Subdue the light of noon, and breathe A low and ceaseless sigh;
This memory brightens o'er the past, As when the sun, concealed Behind some cloud that near us hangs Shines on a distant field.
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