A Psalm of Life - SATB
A Psalm of Life - SATB
A Psalm of Life - SATB

A Psalm of Life - SATB

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  • A Psalm of Life

    A Psalm of Life is a setting of the beloved Longfellow poem of the same name, arranged for SATB choir and piano. The music is taken from the hymn melody by Philip Paul Bliss which is used for the well known hymn favorites, Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy and Should You Feel Inclined to Censure. Cathy Neff's arrangement utilizes a transition into the minor key for the more somber middle verses, which provides for a joyous resolution at the end. An mp3 practice track is available. 

  • Includes:

    • Sheet music for SATB choir and piano (PDF download)
    • Optional: mp3 practice track with unlimited copy license (see above)


  • Lyrics

    Text: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Music: Philip Paul Bliss; arranged by Cathy Neff


    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.

    Arrangement ©2015 Cathy Neff

A Psalm of Life - SATB