Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind us,
Footprints, on the sands of time.
These often quoted inspirational lines are a part of the poem ‘A Psalm of Life’, which was composed by H.W. Longfellow, way back in 1838. This poem relates to the people from all walks of life. It is an epitome of Longfellow’s philosophy on life. It is brilliantly crafted, and the theme and ideas are excellently interwoven, very simple words are used but their meaning is profound. It is a great inspirational poem. On 20th July it will be completing its 168th anniversary. Still, it is a part of school syllabus and is loved.
It is a treatise on the art of living. It teaches that we should always strive to excel in whatever we do. It seems to be in sync with Lord Krishna’s message in Bhagwad Gita, to live and to let live, to do our duty because that is in our hands but success or failure is beyond us. Life is precious, life is beautiful, not a single moment may be wasted as “Art is long and time is fleeting” even in death the soul does not die but sleeps in slumber. We should not allow ourselves to be driven like dumb cattle. One, whose soul does not stir at the prospect of being an achiever, who does not nurture any hope is as good as dead, he has truly stopped living.
We should learn to live in present, and try to make it better and glorious, that is the moment gifted to us by God that’s why it is called “Present”. The past is dead, it can not be changed, the future however promising it may look, but we do not have any control over it, its success can not be vouchsafed. “Act-act”is the clarion call given by Longfellow to the world. Time at our disposal is very short, with each passing day we are moving towards our death, so we should accomplish what we desire to, with faith in God.
Our accomplishments may pave a way for the forlorn destitute souls, who have lost track of their rightful path. We may leave our footprints on the sands of time, we may set an example for others to follow. We can make our life sublime it will inspire other people to know that leading a life of fulfillment is worth living. On the whole, it can be categorized as a spiritual poem.