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Best Famous Henry Van Dyke Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Henry Van Dyke poems. This is a select list of the best famous Henry Van Dyke poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Henry Van Dyke poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of henry van dyke poems.

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by Henry Van Dyke | |

The Heavenly Hills of Holland

 The heavenly hills of Holland,--
How wondrously they rise 
Above the smooth green pastures
Into the azure skies!
With blue and purple hollows,
With peaks of dazzling snow, 
Along the far horizon
The clouds are marching slow.
No mortal foot has trodden The summits of that range, Nor walked those mystic valleys Whose colors ever change; Yet we possess their beauty, And visit them in dreams, While the ruddy gold of sunset From cliff and canyon gleams.
In days of cloudless weather They melt into the light; When fog and mist surround us They're hidden from our sight; But when returns a season Clear shining after rain, While the northwest wind is blowing, We see the hills again.
The old Dutch painters loved them, Their pictures show them clear, Old Hobbema and Ruysdael, Van Goyen and Vermeer.
Above the level landscape, Rich polders, long-armed mills, Canals and ancient cities,-- Float Holland's heavenly hills.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

The Empty Quatrain

 A flawless cup: how delicate and fine
The flowing curve of every jewelled line!
Look, turn it up or down, 't is perfect still,--
But holds no drop of life's heart-warming wine.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

The Gentle Traveller

 Through many a land your journey ran,
And showed the best the world can boast:
Now tell me, traveller, if you can,
The place that pleased you most.
" She laid her hands upon my breast, And murmured gently in my ear, "The place I loved and liked the best Was in your arms, my dear!"

by Henry Van Dyke | |

One World

 "The worlds in which we live are two
The world 'I am' and the world 'I do.
'" The worlds in which we live at heart are one, The world "I am," the fruit of "I have done"; And underneath these worlds of flower and fruit, The world "I love,"--the only living root.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Pan Learns Music

 Limber-limbed, lazy god, stretched on the rock,
Where is sweet Echo, and where is your flock? 
What are you making here? "Listen," said Pan, --
"Out of a river-reed music for man!"

by Henry Van Dyke | |


 I would not even ask my heart to say
If I could love some other land as well
As thee, my country, had I felt the spell
Of Italy at birth, or learned to obey
The charm of France, or England's mighty sway.
I would not be so much an infidel As once to dream, or fashion words to tell, What land could hold my love from thee away.
For like a law of nature in my blood I feel thy sweet and secret sovereignty, And woven through my soul thy vital sign.
My life is but a wave, and thou the flood; I am a leaf and thou the mother-tree; Nor should I be at all, were I not thine.

by Henry Van Dyke | |


 Let me but love my love without disguise,
Nor wear a mask of fashion old or new,
Nor wait to speak till I can hear a clue,
Nor play a part to shine in others' eyes,
Nor bow my knees to what my heart denies;
But what I am, to that let me be true,
And let me worship where my love is due,
And so through love and worship let me rise.
For love is but the heart's immortal thirst To be completely known and all forgiven, Even as sinful souls that enter Heaven: So take me, dear, and understand my worst, And freely pardon it, because confessed, And let me find in loving thee, my best.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Urbs Coronata

 (Song for the City College of New York) 

O youngest of the giant brood 
Of cities far-renowned;
In wealth and power thou hast passed
Thy rivals at a bound;
And now thou art a queen, New York;
And how wilt thou be crowned? 

"Weave me no palace-wreath of pride,"
The royal city said;
"Nor forge an iron fortress-wall
To frown upon my head;
But let me wear a diadem
Of Wisdom's towers instead.
" And so upon her island height She worked her will forsooth, She set upon her rocky brow A citadel of Truth, A house of Light, a home of Thought, A shrine of noble Youth.
Stand here, ye City College towers, And look both up and down; Remember all who wrought for you Within the toiling town; Remember all they thought for you, And all the hopes they brought for you, And be the City's Crown.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Lights Out

 "Lights out" along the land,
"Lights out" upon the sea.
The night must put her hiding hand O'er peaceful towns where children sleep, And peaceful ships that darkly creep Across the waves, as if they were not free.
The dragons of the air, The hell-hounds of the deep, Lurking and prowling everywhere, Go forth to seek their helpless prey, Not knowing whom they maim or slay-- Mad harvesters, who care not what they reap.
Out with the tranquil lights, Out with the lights that burn For love and law and human rights! Set back the clock a thousand years: All they have gained now disappears, And the dark ages suddenly return.
Kaiser who loosed wild death, And terror in the night-- God grant you draw no quiet breath, Until the madness you began Is ended, and long-suffering man, Set free from war lords, cries, "Let there be Light.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Love in a Look

 Let me but feel thy look's embrace, 
Transparent, pure, and warm, 
And I'll not ask to touch thy face,
Or fold thee with mine arm.
For in thine eyes a girl doth rise, Arrayed in candid bliss, And draws me to her with a charm More close than any kiss.
A loving-cup of golden wine, Songs of a silver brook, And fragrant breaths of eglantine, Are mingled in thy look.
More fair they are than any star, Thy topaz eyes divine -- And deep within their trysting-nook Thy spirit blends with mine.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Loves Nearness

 I think of thee, when golden sunbeams shimmer
Across the sea;
And when the waves reflect the moon's pale glimmer,
I think of thee.
I see thy form, when down the distant highway The dust-clouds rise; In deepest night, above the mountain by-way, I see thine eyes.
I hear thee when the ocean-tides returning Loudly rejoice; And on the lonely moor, in stillness yearning, I hear thy voice.
I dwell with thee: though thou art far removed, Yet art thou near.
The sun goes down, the stars shine out, --- Beloved, Ah, wert thou here!

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Loves Reason

 For that thy face is fair I love thee not;
Nor yet because the light of thy brown eyes
Hath gleams of wonder and of glad surprise,
Like woodland streams that cross a sunlit spot:
Nor for thy beauty, born without a blot,
Most perfect when it shines through no disguise
Pure as the star of Eve in Paradise, ---
For all these outward things I love thee not:

But for a something in thy form and face,
Thy looks and ways, of primal harmony;
A certain soothing charm, a vital grace
That breathes of the eternal womanly,
And makes me feel the warmth of Nature's breast,
When in her arms, and thine, I sink to rest.

by Henry Van Dyke | |


 Across a thousand miles of sea, a hundred leagues of land,
Along a path I had not traced and could not understand,
I travelled fast and far for this, -- to take thee by the hand.
A pilgrim knowing not the shrine where he would bend his knee, A mariner without a dream of what his port would be, So fared I with a seeking heart until I came to thee.
O cooler than a grove of palm in some heat-weary place, O fairer than an isle of calm after the wild sea race, The quiet room adorned with flowers where first I saw thy face! Then furl the sail, let fall the oar, forget the paths of foam! The Power that made me wander far at last has brought me home To thee, dear haven of my heart, and I no more will roam.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

They Who Tread the Path of Labor

 They who tread the path of labor follow where My feet have trod; 
They who work without complaining, do the holy will of God; 
Nevermore thou needest seek me; I am with thee everywhere; 
Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me, clease the wood and I am there.
Where the many toil together, there am I among My own; Where the tired workman sleepeth, there am I with him alone: I, the Peace that passeth knowledge, dwell amid the daily strife; I, the Bread of Heav'n am broken in the sacrement of life.
Every task, however simple, sets the soul that does it free; Every deed of love and mercy, done to man is done to Me.
Nevermore thou needest seek me; I am with thee everywhere; Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me; cleave the wood, and I am there.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Time Is

 Time is 
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

To James Whitcomb Riley

 On his "Book of Joyous Children"

Yours is a garden of old-fashioned flowers;
Joyous children delight to play there;
Weary men find rest in its bowers,
Watching the lingering light of day there.
Old-time tunes and young love's laughter Ripple and run among the roses; Memory's echoes, murmuring after, Fill the dusk when the long day closes.
Simple songs with a cadence olden-- These you learned in the Forest of Arden: Friendly flowers with hearts all golden-- These you borrowed from Eden's garden.
This is the reason why all men love you; Truth to life is the charm of art: Other poets may soar above you-- You keep close to the human heart.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

To Julia Marlowe

 Long had I loved this "Attic shape," the brede 
Of marble maidens round this urn divine:
But when your golden voice began to read,
The empty urn was filled with Chian wine.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Twilight in the Alps

 I love the hour that comes, with dusky hair 
And dewy feet, along the Alpine dells
To lead the cattle forth.
A thousand bells Go chiming after her across the fair And flowery uplands, while the rosy flare Of sunset on the snowy mountain dwells, And valleys darken, and the drowsy spells Of peace are woven through the purple air.
Dear is the magic of this hour: she seems To walk before the dark by falling rills, And lend a sweeter song to hidden streams; She opens all the doors of night, and fills With moving bells the music of my dreams, That wander far among the sleeping hills.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Two Schools

 I put my heart to school
In the world, where men grow wise,
"Go out," I said, "and learn the rule;
Come back when you win a prize.
" My heart came back again: "Now where is the prize?" I cried.
---- "The rule was false, and the prize was pain, And the teacher's name was Pride.
" I put my heart to school In the woods, where veeries sing, And brooks run cool and clear; In the fields, where wild flowers spring, And the blue of heaven bends near.
"Go out," I said: "you are half a fool, But perhaps they can teach you here.
" "And why do you stay so long, My heart, and where do you roam?" The answer came with a laugh and a song, --- "I find this school is home.

by Henry Van Dyke | |


 'T was far away and long ago,
When I was but a dreaming boy,
This fairy tale of love and woe
Entranced my heart with tearful joy;
And while with white Undine I wept,
Your spirit, -- ah, how strange it seems, --
Was cradled in some star, and slept,
Unconscious of her coming dreams.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

Without Disguise

 If I have erred in showing all my heart, 
And lost your favour by a lack of pride;
If standing like a beggar at your side 
With naked feet, I have forgot the art
Of those who bargain well in passion's mart,
And win the thing they want by what they hide;
Be mine the fault as mine the hope denied, 
Be mine the lover's and the loser's part.
The sin, if sin it was, I do repent, And take the penance on myself alone; Yet after I have borne the punishment, I shall not fear to stand before the throne Of Love with open heart, and make this plea: "At least I have not lied to her nor Thee!"

by Henry Van Dyke | |


 Wordsworth, thy music like a river rolls 
Among the mountains, and thy song is fed 
By living springs far up the watershed; 
No whirling flood nor parching drought controls 
The crystal current: even on the shoals
It murmurs clear and sweet; and when its bed
Darkens below mysterious cliffs of dread, 
Thy voice of peace grows deeper in our souls.
But thou in youth hast known the breaking stress Of passion, and hast trod despair's dry ground Beneath black thoughts that wither and destroy.
Ah, wanderer, led by human tenderness Home to the heart of Nature, thou hast found The hidden Fountain of Recovered Joy.

by Henry Van Dyke | |


 Let me but do my work from day to day,
In field or forest, at the desk or loom,
In roaring market-place or tranquil room;
Let me but find it in my heart to say,
When vagrant wishes beckon me astray,
"This is my work; my blessing, not my doom;
"Of all who live, I am the one by whom
"This work can best be done in the right way.
" Then shall I see it not too great, nor small, To suit my spirit and to prove my powers; Then shall I cheerful greet the labouring hours, And cheerful turn, when the long shadows fall At eventide, to play and love and rest, Because I know for me my work is best.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

The Price of Peace

 Peace without Justice is a low estate,--
A coward cringing to an iron Fate!
But Peace through Justice is the great ideal,--
We'll pay the price of war to make it real.

by Henry Van Dyke | |

The Wind of Sorrow

 The fire of love was burning, yet so low
That in the dark we scarce could see its rays,
And in the light of perfect-placid days
Nothing but smouldering embers dull and slow.
Vainly, for love's delight, we sought to throw New pleasures on the pyre to make it blaze: In life's calm air and tranquil-prosperous ways We missed the radiant heat of long ago.
Then in the night, a night of sad alarms, Bitter with pain and black with fog of fears, That drove us trembling to each other's arms -- Across the gulf of darkness and salt tears, Into life's calm the wind of sorrow came, And fanned the fire of love to clearest flame.