A Song of the Future

A Song of the Future by Sidney Lanier

Sail fast, sail fast,
Ark of my hopes, Ark of my dreams;
Sweep lordly o’er the drowned Past,
Fly glittering through the sun’s strange beams;
Sail fast, sail fast.
Breaths of new buds from off some drying lea
With news about the Future scent the sea:
My brain is beating like the heart of Haste:
I’ll loose me a bird upon this Present waste;
Go, trembling song,
And stay not long; oh, stay not long:
Thou’rt only a gray and sober dove,
But thine eye is faith and thy wing is love.

As Yogi Berra once said, “The future isn’t what it used to be.” It can be challenging to maintain a positive outlook about the future in times of uncertainty, yet doing so is one of the most important qualities of leadership.

When the future is unclear or when it seems hopeless panic is your enemy. No amount of frenzied activity or thought will force the revelation of that which is veiled and wisdom is available only to those whose hearts and minds are at rest. If your brain is beating like the heart of haste, you will likely miss out on something important.

Instead of wasting time and energy fearing the unknown, take comfort in what you do know. Rather than dwelling on that which you do not comprehend, focus on that which you do understand. Squinting into the dimly lit future will be of no avail if you fail to handle the immediate circumstances you face as close to perfect (if not perfectly) as you can.

Be of good cheer, for as challenging and tumultuous as the economy, your relationships, your finances and any other aspect of your life might be at present, the future is bright. Give yourself fully to the necessities of the moment, invest wisely in the now and you will realize a return, though it will rarely come as you had envisioned it.

Let your eye be faith and your wing love and the way of your future will be made clear.

Have a wonderful day!

9 thoughts on “A Song of the Future

  1. Kimberly

    I love the poem and he says it so beautifully.
    His message is pure artistry. What eyes do I look at my future through and what moves me?
    I’ve never read poems by this author and I’m looking forward to researching him tonight. Thanks.


  2. Colin

    The great message here is that the distant future is influenced by the present- right now. There is always hope, and if you handle right now the right way, you give your future the best possible chance. Thanks.


  3. Reina

    Such a nice reminder that the greatest power we have available to us is attained in the present moment. This is worth taking the time to contemplate, as I can see how it can elliminate undo stress brought on by fears of an imaginary future, cloaked by uncertainty. Do we look clearly at what we have available to us now, or do we miss our starting points due to improper vision? Thanks for such inspiring words of wisdom and the beauty poem that should bring about wonderful new vision for us all. The present, I imagine, is filled with wonderful gifts if we are in the right spot to recieve them.


  4. Estelle

    Beautiful poem! I wasn’t familiar with Sidney Lanier so it gave me an opportunity to do some research on him this morning. I always appreciate the opportunity to be introduced to new things. Have a great day!


  5. DeeDee

    Again it comes down to our actions and reactions being within our control and having a significant part in shaping the future. It illustrates what I have been telling my teens about the connection between their actions now and their future. Thanks for the inspiration to handle things rightly in the moment – the brightness of the future depends on it!


  6. Doug

    “No amount of frenzied activity or thought will force the revelation of that which is veiled…” A thought worth writing in stone!!!
    I have tried to “out think” the unknown…big waste of time. I’ve missed opportunities that were right in front of me but I was focused on the past or trying to figure out the future. Note to self…”what is happening now?”


  7. Isabelle Kearney

    What a beautiful start to the day! Perspective is such a powerful thing – whenever I’ve been caught up in the day-to-day, it’s been so easy to lose my way, to be pushed around like a tiny boat at sea. But when I have maintained a perspective that is larger, that sees the momentary and daily experiences as the gifts that they are, then there is appreciation and an understanding of how they build the future and care in how they are handled.

    The eye (vision) be faith and the wing (the way, the action) of love!


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