“Look to this Day” From the Sanskrit

“Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the
Varieties and realities of your existence;
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty:
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But to-day well-lived makes
Every yesterday a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore to this day!

Such is the salutation of the dawn.

From the Sanskrit.”

Excerpt From
The Optimist’s Good Morning

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“The Victory” Poem by Sidney Henry Morse

The Victory

 

To do the tasks of life, and be not lost;

To mingle, yet dwell apart;

To be by roughest seas how rudely tossed,

Yet bate no jot of heart;

To hold thy course among the heavenly stars,
Yet dwell upon the earth;
To stand behind Fate’s firm-laid prison bars,
Yet win all Freedom’s worth.

—Sydney Henry Morse.

“What Is To Come” Poem by William Ernest Henley

What is to Come

That what has been was good—was good to show,

Better to hide, and best of all to bear.

We are the masters of the days that were:

We have lived, we have loved, we have suffered . . . even so.

Shall we not take the ebb who had the flow?

Life was our friend.  Now, if it be our foe—

Dear, though it spoil and break us!—need we care

            What is to come?

Let the great winds their worst and wildest blow,

Or the gold weather round us mellow slow:

We have fulfilled ourselves, and we can dare

And we can conquer, though we may not share

In the rich quiet of the afterglow

            What is to come.

“The Question” Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Beside us in our seeking after pleasures,
   Through all our restless striving after fame,
Through all our search for worldly gains and treasures,
   There walketh one whom no man likes to name.
Silent he follows, veiled of form and feature,
   Indifferent if we sorrow or rejoice,
Yet that day comes when every living creature
   Must look upon his face and hear his voice.

When that day comes to you, and Death, unmasking,
   Shall bar your path, and say, “Behold the end,”
What are the questions that he will be asking
   About your past?  Have you considered, friend?
I think he will not chide you for your sinning,
   Nor for your creeds or dogmas will he care;
He will but ask, “From your life’s first beginning
   How many burdens have you helped to bear?”

Excerpt From
Poems of Power
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Love Song” Poem Rainer Maria Rilke

Love Song

When my soul touches yours a great chord sings!
How shall I tune it then to other things?
O! That some spot in darkness could be found
That does not vibrate whene’er your depths sound.
But everything that touches you and me
Welds us as played strings sound one melody.
Where is the instrument whence the sounds flow?
And whose the master-hand that holds the bow?
O! Sweet song—

“A Gentle Wind” Poem by Fu Hsuan

A GENTLE WIND

By Fu Hsüan (died a.d. 278)

 

A gentle wind fans the calm night:
A bright moon shines on the high tower.
A voice whispers, but no one answers when I call:
A shadow stirs, but no one comes when I beckon.
The kitchen-man brings in a dish of lentils:
Wine is there, but I do not fill my cup.Contentment with poverty is
Fortune’s best gift:Riches and Honor are the handmaids of Disaster.
Though gold and gems by the world are sought and prized,
To me they seem no more than weeds or chaff.

Sun and Shadow ~ Poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes

SUN AND SHADOW

As I look from the isle, o’er its billows of green,
To the billows of foam-crested blue,
Yon bark, that afar in the distance is seen,
Half dreaming, my eyes will pursue
Now dark in the shadow, she scatters the spray
As the chaff in the stroke of the flail;
Now white as the sea-gull, she flies on her way,
The sun gleaming bright on her sail.

Yet her pilot is thinking of dangers to shun,—
Of breakers that whiten and roar;
How little he cares, if in shadow or sun
They see him who gaze from the shore!
He looks to the beacon that looms from the reef,
To the rock that is under his lee,
As he drifts on the blast, like a wind-wafted leaf,
O’er the gulfs of the desolate sea.

Thus drifting afar to the dim-vaulted caves
Where life and its ventures are laid,
The dreamers who gaze while we battle the waves
May see us in sunshine or shade;
Yet true to our course, though the shadows grow dark,
We’ll trim our broad sail as before,
And stand by the rudder that governs the bark,
Nor ask how we look from the shore!