A Psalm of Life – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday January 30, 2008

longfellow.jpgHenry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807 in Portland, Maine. His famous works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, “The Song of Hiawatha”, “Evangeline”, and “Christmas Bells”.  Of course, his immortalization of Paul Revere is by far his most famous. What American school child in the last 130 years has not memorized:

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April in seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year…

…One; if by land, And two; if by sea
And i on the opposite shore will be
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
To every middlesex village and farm
For the country folk to be up and arm.

Today, however, we feature another of Mr. Longfellow’s most stirring works. It’s a poem and and an affirmation all at the same time. The final stanza is often quoted as an affirmation, but the whole poem will light a fire under your mid winter Wednesday.

“A Psalm of Life”

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.

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 dreams 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 learn to wait.

Be peaceful Be prosperous!


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Ray Davis - The Affirmation Spot

I am the Founder of The Affirmation Spot, author of Annuanki Awakening, and co-founder of 6 Sense Media. My latest books are the Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation (Book 1 of a trilogy) and The Power to Be You: 417 Daily Thoughts and Affirmations for Empowerment. I have written prolifically on the topics of personal development and human potential for many years. By day, I write sales training for Fortune 100 company. I began studying affirmations and positive thinking after a life-threatening illness at 25. My thirst for self-improvement led him to read the writings of Joseph Campbell, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, and many other luminaries in the fields of mythology and motivation. Over time, I have melded these ideas into my own philosophy on self-development. I have written, recorded, and used affirmations and other tools throughout that time to improve my own life and I have a passion for helping other reach for their goals and dreams. Ray holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Secondary Education in Social Studies from University of Kansas. He lives in Spring Hill, Ks with his wife.

3 thoughts on “A Psalm of Life – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday January 30, 2008”

  1. Love the poem’s. I will copy them, to put in my grandchildrens book. We do scrap books together and find photos to put with them. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed them and that you plan to pass them along to another generation! Hard as we try, we just don’t write like that any more.

    Longfellow, Emerson, Whitman, and the other great poets of the 19th century are a treasure to us all.

    Also, thank you for reading and commenting on the blog. I hope you will find future articles as meaningful.


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