Longfellow on life

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As I read the poem A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, two words came to mind: simple and beautiful. And if that don’t describe my life in the country, than I don’t know what does. Well, that’s not true. I know lots of other words that describe this life. Another post, another day.

From the grave
I hear Longfellow saying don’t give up. Our good labor is not in vain. To not get caught up in the past or the future; but to concentrate on today. To choose character over conformity, faith over doubt, and living over breathing.

Reigning between the years of 1798-1824, romantic poets like Longfellow were said to have awakened the soul of even the common man.

Romantic poetry

Romantic poetry of the early nineteenth century

People began thinking, welcoming their individual perspectives on life.

As Longfellow wrote:

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!

As a rancher’s wife, I can easily identify with these lines.

I encourage you to take the time to read the short poem for yourself. You may take something entirely different from it.


4 thoughts on “Longfellow on life

  1. I loved the ending:

    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.


    I think that is so fitting for a anyone, but I also think it’s perfect for a writer who wants to inspire others! At least that’s what I got out of it.

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