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A PSALM OF LIFE

 

  • Why are you so depressing, religious man:
      telling me life is only an empty dream?
     
  • Of course, we don’t have life merely to die:
      the grave a final end for a life asleep,
     
  • but there’s nothing so good as death to focus the mind:
      a wake up call for life, and life is full,
     
  • for life is real and earnest all day long:
      our lives are only fleeting, art survives.
     
  • So we can strive to act, improve the hour:
      that every new tomorrow makes for progress,
     
  • the present’s to enjoy and lead us on:
      to be heroic now, achieving more,
     
  • to leave behind some footprints on the sand:
      perhaps to give encouragement to one who follows.
     
  • Up and learn to live and also wait:
      for God goes on before and justice calls.
     

Notes:

after Henry W Longfellow’s ‘A Psalm of Life: what the heart of the young man said to the Psalmist’, beginning: "Tell me not in mournful numbers 'Life is but an empty dream!’" vv 2,3 cp John Donne’s sermon (In the cart from Newgate to Tybu