Words Challenge, Day 17

Oh, I love motivational poems. Too much of poetry today is doom and gloom, all gray clouds and no silver linings. Maybe the gray clouds are beautiful! Maybe they’re not gray at all! Rather than write a poem about how little hope there is in the world, I think we can all take a lesson from those who write to uplift and inspire. I know I’ve written many a depressing poem in my time, and while cathartic, they don’t help nearly so much as a good motivational piece, like today’s. So here it is:

A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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.

~ ~ ~

You must realize Longfellow is a man who likes his words. Ever heard of the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere? Yeah, that was him. I had to memorize that one when I was younger–it’s like the twelve days of Christmas, but for the revolutionary war! Still, I think it’s wonderful poem and love every stanza. Honestly it’s just the right length, in my opinion. I especially like the lines: life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal. The grave is not its goal. Thanks for reading everyone and have a great weekend!



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