The Very Spring and Root

An engineer's adventures in education (and other musings).

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A Psalm of Life

A Psalm of Life

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 are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

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 sand of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solenm 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.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I Cannot Bear Your Suffering”

Three colleagues (one of them my roommate) wrote this last week in the dining room over dinner. You know, like ya do.

“I Cannot Bear Your Suffering”
Malcolm Jamal King, Juliet Buesing, Janella Isaac.
Composed and recorded August 29th, 2012
(Boston, MA)


Late evening SFO, don’t fret

the blue-gray beast approaching

I see it rumble in

thunderously wafting

ephemeral yet solid single

itself to Pacific sleep.

A fog on my soul, can’t weep

despite knowing that we’re parting.

I hear it stumble on

fabulously fleeting

to be gone when it pleases, staying

with me just for awhile.