Tell Me Not In Mournful Numbers


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 and way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us further than to-day.

Lives of true men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints which 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.