Why does the poet say: ‘And the grave is not its goal’ in the poem A psalm of life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?
In the poem ‘A Psalm of Life’ there is a Biblical reference. The Biblical phrase is indeed quoted in the seventh line of the poem: ‘Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest’, meaning ‘you are made of dust and you must return to dust after death’. That indicates that our life has no greater value. This life is mortal and not an important one.
But the speaker in the poet doesn’t agree to that theory. He protests and says that grave is not really the ultimate goal of this life. Though our body is mortal, the soul does live on. Moreover, we can remain alive in people’s heart by our great deeds. So, the poet says those words in protest of the Biblical Teaching mentioned above.