A month ago a confrére and good friend of mine passed away. May he find peace in the Lord. Longfellow in a poem called A Psalm of Life - What the heart of a 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 to the soul.
The death of a friend is a time of reflection on life's meaning and on the departed-one's significance. Poems like this may be considered religiously bland or piously irrelevant to the modern science-thinking man's down-to-earthness, but, it recalls an age of gentler faith and contains an eternal essence of truth about human life.
Longfellow in the same poem says:
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.
Wasn't it Mae West who said: "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough".