Footprints On The Sands Of Time
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.
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.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow