Lives of Great Men Remind Us
That We Can Make Our Lives Sublime
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Time is fleeting, according to Longfellow
Henry Longfellow was born on
February 27, 1807, and lived up to 1882.
While many of his poems have a theosophical
content, the reader must take into consideration
the fact that in theosophy and philosophy the concept
of a monotheistic god does not make sense. The term
is a “misnomer”, according to the Masters of the
Wisdom. The word can be accepted in part if one establishes
that “God” is the totality of Nature, as Baruch Spinoza wrote.
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.
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!
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.
The above poem is reproduced from the book “Favorite Poems”, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dover-Thrift Editions, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, copyright 1992, 82 pages, p. 02.
On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.