Friday, April 22, 2011

A psalm of life

This is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We discussed it in out literature class and the sheer simplicity of the feeling is beautiful. But when you put this in context of life here in SIMC it is pretty much the most ironic thing you could read. It's funny actually how life here in college goes.

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.

And waiting is something we have learnt to do, very well.

1 comment:

The Wanderer said...

The title is what I love the most!
And things are so not what they seem in SIMC... the poem is a lovely metaphor of the fake lives we lead in this alien city