Sometimes in life, you read a story, a news, a poem, heard a song, and it sticks in your head and refuses to leave you alone. It then grow to become an inspiration to you, and you draw strength and motivation from it to keep on believing and fight the good fight, and keep the faith. This happens to me many times, and I am grateful for each and every sources of inspiration which enriche my life and make it more fulfilling in so many ways.
This post is about a poem which I read many years ago, and has been a source of great inspiration for me, even now. It’;s my favorite poem, and however long it is, I have managed to memorize it, because I love it that much. Here it is, may you find it to your liking as well:
A PSALM OF LIVE – HENRY W. 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.
This poem is so wonderfully written, so beautifully narrated, and presented so solemnly, that I fell in love with it at first read. Then, the gems of life in it called to me, took root, and grew into a tree of life which gave me hope and strength to keep on believing. It could not have come at a better time, because I was at a difficult time in my life back then. Thank you, Henry Longfellow, for writing such a beautiful poem and generously sharing it with me.