What is the biblical allusion in the poem "A Psalm of Life" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?
The biblical allusion in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "A Psalm of Life" is to Genesis 3:19. This is spoken by God to Adam when he and Eve are being evicted from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God's command not to taste of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
In "A Psalm of Life," the poet says in the second stanza:
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.
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