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 Let us then be up and doing With a heart for any fate Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait Life is real, life is earnest ... 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 Light to dark to light returning As the world turns, come what may Light of love and light of learning, Light of heart at light of day Life is real, life is earnest ...
recording: I Hear Voices [YouTube]
recording: Jessica Radcliffe, Martin Simpson, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, & Barry Phillips [YouTube]
notes: song history discussion [Mudcat Cafe]
notes: song history and notation [The Lotus Dickey Songbook]
notes: full text of original poem [Mainly Norfolk]