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There is peace in his calm, confiding air ;
A Psalm of Life.
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 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 ;-
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
All, all on Earth, is Shadow. WHY then their loss deplore, that are not lost?
Why wanders wretched thought their tombs
around, In infidel distress ? Are angels there? Slumbers, rak'd up in dust, ethereal fire ?
They live! they greatly live a life on Earth Unkindled, unconceived; and from an eye Of tenderness let heavenly pity fall On me, more justly number'd with the dead. This is the desert, this the solitude: How populous, how vital, is the grave! This is creation's melancholy vault, The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom; The land of apparitions, empty shades ! All, all on Earth, is shadow, all beyond Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed. How solid all, where change shall be no more!
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, The twilight of our day, the vestibule : Life's theatre as yet is shut, and Death, Strong Death, alone can heave the massy bar, This gross impediment of clay remove,
And make us embryos of existence free.
Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts;
expire! And is it in the flight of threescore years, To push eternity from human thought, And smother souls immortal in the dust? A soul immortal, spending all her fires, Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, Thrown into tumult, raptur'd or alarm’d, At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, To waft a feather, or to drown a fly. Where falls this censure? It o'erwhelms
myself; How was my heart incrusted by the world! O how self-fetter'd was my grovelling soul !
How, like a worm, was I rapt round and round
Night-visions may befriend (as sung above):
furniture ? The cobweb'd cottage, with its ragged wall Of mouldering mud, is royalty to me! The spider's most attenuated thread Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie On earthly bliss! it breaks at every breeze.
A Picture. BEHOLD'ST thou yonder on the crystal sea,
Beneath the throne of God, an image fair, And in its hand a mirror large and bright? 'Tis Truth, immutable, eternal Truth,