A Psalm of Life


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



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.


by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;

If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:.

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Excerpt from

The Ladder of St. Augustine

The heights by great men reached and kept,

Were not attained by sudden flight-

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Popularly known as


by James Weldon Johnson (1900)

Lift every voice and sing

Till earth and heaven ring,

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise

High as the listening skies,

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun

Let us march on till victory is won.


Stony the road we trod,

Bitter the chastening rod,

Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;

Yet with a steady beat,

Have not our weary feet

Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears have been watered,

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from the gloomy past,

Till now we stand at last

Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,

God of our silent tears,

Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;

Thou who has by Thy might

Led us into the light,

Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Lest our feet stray from the places, Our God, where we met Thee;

Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;

Shadowed beneath Thy hand,

May we forever stand.

True to our GOD,

True to our native land

Lift Every Voice and Sing Performed

Balm In Gilead


A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

Good, Better, Best

Good, better, best. Never let it rest.

Till your good is better and your better best.

St. Jerome

Killing Time

As if we could kill time without injuring eternity.

Henry David Thoreau

Don’t Blame It On The Children

Author Unknown

 Y’know we read in the paper and we hear on the air

Of killing and stealing and crime everywhere

And we sigh and we say as we notice the trend

This young generation, where will it end

But can we be sure that it’s their fault alone

I mean that maybe a part of it isn’t our own

Are we less guilty who place in their way

Too many things that lead them astray

Like too much money

Too much idle time

Too many movies of passion and crime

Too many books that are not even fit to be read

Too much evil in what they hear said

and too many children encouraged to roam

By too many parents who won’t even stay home

Well! Kids don’t make the movies

and they don’t write the books

They don’t paint gay pictures of gangsters and crooks

They don’t make the liquor and they don’t run the bars

They don’t make the laws and they don’t buy the cars

They don’t make the junk that addles the brain

That’s all done by older folk, greedy for gain

Delinquent teenagers? How we condemn

The sins of a nation and blame it on them

But the laws that are blameless the Savior makes known

Now you tell me who’s here among us to cast the first stone

In so many cases it’s sad but it’s true

The title DELINQUENT fits older folk too

So don’t blame it on the children!

Quotes from Mahatma Gandhi

"There is more to life than increasing speed."

-Mohandas K. Gandhi  

"There is enough for the needy, but not for the greedy". 

The slave clings to his chains and he must have them struck from him. 

Reporter (to Mahatma Gandhi): "Mr Gandhi, what do you think of Western Civilization?"

Gandhi: "I think it would be a good idea.". ...


But I know

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On examining it I saw it was healing well, so I talked to one of the doctors and got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.


While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her . He told me that she had been there for a while! As she is a victim of Alzheimer's disease..  As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. 

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.  I was surprised and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

 He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me but I still know who she is.' 

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life. 


(The following was sent via e-mail. Silvertorch has not checked all the facts but they are very likely accurate.)


If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top. 


The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place.  If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash. 


A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out.  It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom.  It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself. 


In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up! 


In parts of the world where people trap monkeys, some trappers use a monkeypot. The trappers would secure a small pot to a tree-stump, and scatter some nuts near the pot to entice monkeys. Soon enough, a monkey would discover the nuts the trapper placed inside the pot. On finding the nuts, the monkey would put its hand inside the small opening at the top, grasp one or more of them, and realize that it cannot get out its now clenched fist. The terrified monkey would set up a great ruckus, attracting the trapper who would then easily capture the monkey – all because it never occurs to the monkey that all it had to do to save his life was to let go of nuts, now of little value, in order to free itself.


- by Erma Bombeck

(Written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television

and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical,

wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy ,

I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment

growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute. Look at it

and really see it.  Live it and never give it back.


1. We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome some day


Oh deep in my heart

I do believe

We shall overcome some day

2. We'll walk hand in hand

We'll walk hand in hand

We'll walk hand in hand some day


3. We shall all be free

We shall all be free

We shall all be free some day


 4. We are not afraid

We are not afraid

We are not afraid today


5. We are not alone

We are not alone

We are not alone today


6. The whole wide world around

The whole wide world around

The whole wide world around some day


7. We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome some day