A Psalm of Life
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There is a lot of soul imagery in this poem. He talks about the power of the soul that is alive, "Life is but an empty dream", "Soul is dead that slumbers…". The poem is about the strength of the soul and making people heroes in their own life.
The first and the last stanza of the poem, really illuminate the poem.
First, (as in first stanza) he speaks about the immaturity or rather the lack of understanding by the people who think life is nothing but just an empty dream and is filled with sadness, melancholic drama. As which soul (here a soul with a body) thinks in such a dull and 'dodish' (dodo) manner, is nothing more than dead, as it is just wasting time thinking about unhelpful, not needed, pure garbage. They are just wasting time aimlessly where as they could have done something better with their lives ("Let's eat Subway mate, uh?").
Mr. Longfellow ("Ugh, can't see his head!") says that one should not think about the past, as what's gone, what's faded won't come back so you can mend it, instead learn and move forward. He says not even to think to much about the future, or else, one would forget to act during the present and life being tangible, the bright future would fade, or darken due to lack of alertness, joy, and love, warmth, mirth during the present times.
This is what he speaks about during the last four lines of the poem.
"Let us, then... wait"
To have the capacity to wait for the best and learn to work hard. Like in Hinduism, continuously commit good Karma, and one would be gifted by god someday.
Tons of imagery going around everywhere, every line can be interpreted in ways of the readers capacity. But one would only be able to do so, by understanding the poem, here I have tried to explain the concentrated hills of the plains, hope you understand and have fun reading it.