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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 tomorrow
        Find us farher 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 pleasent!
        Let the dead past bury its own 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 subline,
And, departing, leave behind us
        Footprints in 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 acheiving, still pursuing,
        Learn to labor and to wait.

                        - Longfellow