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Poems About Living in the Moment

Table of Contents

  1. Now by Peter Burn
  2. To-day by Annette Wynne
  3. The Sparrow by Laurence Dunbar
  4. To-Morrow by M. B. Johnson
  5. Time's Shadow by Mathilde Blind
  6. The Enchanted Traveller by Bliss Carman
  7. Now's the Time by Anonymous
  8. Leisure by William Henry Davies
  9. The Present by Martha Waldron Blacker
  10. Drink Deep by Ruby Archer
  11. Every Day's a Little Year by Annette Wynne
  12. The Veil by E. F. Hayward
  13. A Heart Snare by Peter Burn
  14. Time is Precious by Peter Burn

  1. Now

    by Peter Burn

    Work to-day, wait not to-morrow!
    To the golden now attend;
    Future joy and future sorrow
    On the present hour depend:
    Disappointment waits the sluggard,
    Coming night reproves our play,
    Let us ever upward, onward,
    Let us work while it is day.

    Much of life is lost in fretting,
    We the future clothe with care:
    Better far, the past forgetting,
    We moved on to brave and dare;
    Seasons gone, are gone for ever,
    View them not with fond regret;
    Fill the present with endeavour,
    Great results may bless us yet.

    Courage! courage! fainting brother,
    Fortune, honour may be won!
    Faith shall aid us in our labour—
    Hear her voice, "It shall be done!"
    Things which tell us of obstruction,
    Shall depart before our tread;
    If we will them to destruction,
    They shall be to us as dead.

  2. To-day

    by Annette Wynne

    To-morrow, what does it matter?
    To-day—that is here!
    To lend or to spend for my purpose—
    All without hindrance or tear,
    To-day only matters—to-morrow's
    A dream and a fear!

    To-morrow, I never shall own it—
    To-day—that is mine!
    What if I take it and make it
    To something divine!

    So shall I never fear sorrow,
    Dear Time, if you go soon or stay,
    So shall I fear no to-morrow
    And gratefully live each to-day!

  3. The Sparrow

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    A little bird, with plumage brown,
    Beside my window flutters down,
    A moment chirps its little strain,
    Then taps upon my window-pane,
    And chirps again, and hops along,
    To call my notice to its song;
    But I work on, nor heed its lay,
    Till, in neglect, it flies away.

    So birds of peace and hope and love
    Come fluttering earthward from above,
    To settle on life's window-sills,
    And ease our load of earthly ills;
    But we, in traffic's rush and din
    Too deep engaged to let them in,
    With deadened heart and sense plod on,
    Nor know our loss till they are gone.

  4. To-Morrow

    Enjoy to-day," the mother said;
    "Some wait for to-morrow through many a year
    It is always coming, but never is here."

    - M. B. Johnson
    by M. B. Johnson

    A bright, merry boy, with laughing face,
    Whose every motion was full of grace,
    Who knew no trouble and feared no care,
    Was the light of our household—the youngest there.

    He was too young, this little elf,
    With troublesome questions to vex himself;
    But for many days a thought would rise,
    And bring a shade to his dancing eyes.

    He went to one whom he thought more wise
    Than any other beneath the skies;
    "Mother,"—O word that makes the home!—
    "Tell me, when will to-morrow come?"

    "It is almost night," the mother said,
    "And time for my boy to be in bed;
    When you wake up and it's day again,
    It will be to-morrow, my darling, then."

    The little boy slept through all the night,
    But woke with the first red streak of light;
    He pressed a kiss to his mother's brow,
    And whispered, "Is it to-morrow now?"

    "No, little Eddie, this is to-day:
    To-morrow is always one night away."
    He pondered a while, but joys came fast,
    And this vexing question quickly passed.

    But it came again with the shades of night;
    "Will it be to-morrow when it is light?"
    From years to come he seemed care to borrow,
    He tried so hard to catch to-morrow.

    "You can not catch it, my little Ted;
    Enjoy to-day," the mother said;
    "Some wait for to-morrow through many a year
    It is always coming, but never is here."

  5. Time's Shadow

    by Mathilde Blind

    Thy life, O Man, in this brief moment lies:
    Time's narrow bridge whereon we darkling stand,
    With an infinitude on either hand
    Receding luminously from our eyes.
    Lo, there thy Past's forsaken Paradise
    Subsideth like some visionary strand,
    While glimmering faint, the Future's promised land,
    Illusive from the abyss, seems fain to rise.

    This hour alone Hope's broken pledges mar,
    And Joy now gleams before, now in our rear,
    Like mirage mocking in some waste afar,
    Dissolving into air as we draw near.
    Beyond our steps the path is sunny-clear,
    The shadow lying only where we are.

  6. The Enchanted Traveller

    We found no other wisdom,
    We learned no other way,
    Than the gladness of the morning,
    The glory of the day.

    - Bliss Carman
    The Enchanted Traveller
    by Bliss Carman

    We travelled empty-handed
    With hearts all fear above,
    For we ate the bread of friendship,
    We drank the wine of love.

    Through many a wondrous autumn,
    Through many a magic spring,
    We hailed the scarlet banners,
    We heard the blue-bird sing.

    We looked on life and nature
    With the eager eyes of youth,
    And all we asked or cared for
    Was beauty, joy, and truth.

    We found no other wisdom,
    We learned no other way,
    Than the gladness of the morning,
    The glory of the day.

    So all our earthly treasure
    Shall go with us, my dears,
    Aboard the Shadow Liner,
    Across the sea of years.

  7. Now's the Time

    by Anonymous

    If a poem you would write,
    Now's the time!
    Ne'er was epic yet or sonnet
    Captured but by leaping on it;
    Pegasus depend upon it,
    Knows his time.

    If you have a task to do,
    Now's the time!
    Now, while you've a notion to it;
    Now, while zeal will help you do it;
    Or in shame you'll hobble through it,
    Out of time.

    If you have a word of praise,
    Now's the time!
    Should the sky, while flowers are growing
    Stint its gracious dew-bestowing
    Ne'er would come the rainhow-glowing
    Blossom time.

    If you have a kiss to give,
    Now's the time!
    Lips, like flowers, soon are faded,
    Life-blood pallid, checked, and jaded,
    If they are not love-o'ershaded,
    Kissed in time.

    If you have a prayer to pray,
    Now's the time!
    Not to every hour are given
    Upward look and open heaven;
    Oh, be strengthened, gladdened, shriven,
    While there's time!

  8. Leisure

    by William Henry Davies

    What is life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare?

    No time to stand beneath the boughs
    And stare as long as sheep or cows

    No time to see when woods we pass
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass

    No time to see, in broad daylight
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night

    No time to turn at Beauty's glance
    And watch her feet, how they can dance

    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began?

    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

  9. The Present

    by Martha Waldron Blacker

    A song of the Present,—the unwritten Now,
    Whether age, youth, or manhood is stamped on the brow;
    Of the days that are lent us by Heaven's behest,
    To prepare for the future and heavenly rest.

    The past lies behind us with memories filled,
    Of hopes that have perished, of wishes fulfilled,
    Of joys that have vanished, of joys that remain,
    Of friends that have left us to come not again.

    The future before us is hid from our sight;
    Time's changes alone shall reveal it to light,
    The present is with us, though fleeting full fast,
    Its moments swift hastening to blend with the past.

    Each day in the drama of life hath a part,
    Bringing pleasure or grief to each beating heart,
    And the tablet of time hath a record true
    Of the deeds left undone and the deeds that we do.

    There are dear ones to cherish, kind words to say,
    Faint hearts to solace in life's rugged way;
    There is succor to give to the brother in need,
    The fallen to lift and the hungry to feed.

    There are wrongs to be righted,—who of us shall dare
    Refuse in this God-given work to share?
    There is work for us all; let us do it in love;
    Let us merit the meed of "Well done" from above.

  10. Drink Deep

    by Ruby Archer

    Stern Life is in a lavish mood to-day.
    She holds a brimming beaker to our lips.
    Sweet wine of love—ah, put it not away!
    Drink deep, dear heart. Life will not wait for sips.

  11. Every Day's a Little Year

    by Annette Wynne

    Every day's a little year,
    Keep it new and full of cheer,
    Keep it glad in any weather,
    So, by adding days together—
    All the whole big year is true—
    Full of cheer and shining new!

  12. The Veil

    by E. F. Hayward

    If we could see ahead a little way,
    And know what is in store for us tomorrow,
    Just peep behind the curtains of today,
    And get a glimpse of future joy or sorrow,
    Would we be able to forestall the bad,
    And in its stead have only the pure and good?
    Or would that knowledge only make us sad,
    Now I wonder, as I ponder, if it would?
    Perhaps 'tis better that we cannot see
    Beyond the veil, which hides tomorrow's light,
    And living thus, in doubt, perhaps we'll be
    Much happier, with the things which are in sight.

  13. A Heart Snare

    by Peter Burn

    Why doth the heart brood o'er the past—
    The past of many sorrows?
    Why doth it looks of fondness cast
    O'er scenes where mem'ries rise and blast
    To-days, and coming morrows?

    It fondly seeks for balm and joy,
    But thorns grow with our flowers;
    There's nought on earth without alloy,
    The ways of life perplex—annoy—
    The breeze unrobes our bowers.

    Behind the clouds are sunny rays,
    Behind our griefs are pleasures;
    Pleasures which live, while life decays,
    The heart to these a visit pays,
    And proves them precious treasures.

  14. Time is Precious

    by Peter Burn

    Ye careless souls, be wise,
    Of Time's swift course beware;
    For, like the meteor's glare,
    As soon as seen, it dies.

    To life fresh power give:
    Spend not your lives in ease,
    Each passing moment seize,
    And in the future live.

    Awake from lethargy!
    Behold, time swiftly flies,
    Like lightning o'er the skies,
    Into eternity.

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