act in the living present

Some days seem to be lost in marking time.  Such days are not so satisfying … work is just work, duty fulfilled, chores completed.

Longfellow advises us in his Psalm of Life … to act in the living present …

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.

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.

In those mundane days … may God give insight into His holy purpose!

This entry was posted in Public Domain Poetry, Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to act in the living present

  1. Bonnie says:

    Very wise thoughts! Thanks for posting this. It encouraged me today!


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