Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poems

What is this quote trying to explain?

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.

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A Psalm of Life is a didactic poem. This means that it is trying to teach us something. The poem talks about the impermanence of life and the legacy of art. These lines speak to our short lives on this earth. While art can transcend time, the human body cannot. It is important to leave something beautiful for the world after we are gone.