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LONGFELLOW.

A PSALM OF LIFE.

WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN SAID TO THE

PSALMIST.

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.

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A GLEAM OF SUNSHINE.

This is the place. Stand still, my steed,

Let me review the scene,
And summon from the shadowy Past

The forms that once have been.

The Past and Present here unite

Beneath Time's flowing tide, Like footprints hidden by a brook,

But seen on either side.

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Here runs the highway to the town;

There the green lane descends,
Through which I walked to church with thee,

O gentlest of my friends!

The shadow of the linden-trees

Lay moving on the grass ;
Between them and the moving boughs,

A shadow, thou didst pass.

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Thy dress was like the lilies,

And thy heart as pure as they : One of God's holy messengers

Did walk with me that day.

I saw the branches of the trees

Bend down thy touch to meet, The clover-blossoms in the grass

Rise up to kiss thy feet.

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“Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares,

Of earth and folly born!” Solemnly sang the village choir

On that sweet Sabbath morn.

Through the closed blinds the golden sun

Poured in a dusty beam, Like the celestial ladder seen

By Jacob in his dream.

And ever and anon, the wind,

Sweet-scented with the hay,
Turned o'er the hymn-book's fluttering leaves

That on the window lay.

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Long was the good man's sermon,

Yet it seemed not so to me;
For he spake of Ruth the beautiful

And still I thought of thee.

Long was the prayer he uttered,

Yet it seemed not so to me;
For in my heart I prayed with him,

And still I thought of thee.

But now, alas! the place seems changed ;

Thou art no longer here:
Part of the sunshine of the scene

With thee did disappear.

Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,

Like pine-trees dark and high, Subdue the light of noon, and breathe

A low and ceaseless sigh ;

This memory brightens o'er the past,

As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs,

Shines on a distant field.

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