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Henry Van Dyke Poems

A collection of select Henry Van Dyke famous poems that were written by Henry Van Dyke or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Dyke, Henry Van
 At his Birthday Feast

With memories old and wishes new
We crown our cups again,
And here's to you, and here's to you
With love that ne'er shall wane!
And may you keep, at sixty-seven,
The joy of earth, the hope of heaven,
And fame well-earned, and friendship true,
And peace that comforts every pain,
And faith that fights the battle through,
And all your heart's unbounded wealth,
And all...Read More



by Dyke, Henry Van
 Lord Jesus, Thou hast known
A mother's love and tender care:
And Thou wilt hear, while for my own
Mother most dear I make this birthday prayer.

Protect her life, I pray,
Who gave the gift of life to me;
And may she know, from day to day,
The deepening glow of Life that comes from Thee.

As once upon her breast
Fearless and well content I lay,
So...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 'Tis fine to see the Old World and travel up and down 
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown, 
To admire the crumblyh castles and the statues and kings 
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things. 

So it's home again, and home again, America for me! 
My heart is turning home again and there I...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 I - STARLIGHT 

With two bright eyes, my star, my love, 
Thou lookest on the stars above: 
Ah, would that I the heaven might be
With a million eyes to look on thee. 

Plato. 


II - ROSELEAF 

A little while the rose, 
And after that the thorn; 
An hour of dewy morn, 
And then the glamour goes. 
Ah, love in...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 I

Thou who hast made thy dwelling fair
With flowers beneath, above with starry lights,
And set thine altars everywhere,--
On mountain heights,
In woodlands dim with many a dream,
In valleys bright with springs,
And on the curving capes of every stream:
Thou who hast taken to thyself the wings
Of morning, to abide
Upon the secret places of the sea,
And on far islands, where the tide
Visits the...Read More



by Dyke, Henry Van
 "Do you give thanks for this? -- or that?" 
No, God be thanked
I am not grateful
In that cold, calculating way, with blessing ranked
As one, two, three, and four, -- that would be hateful. 

I only know that every day brings good above"
My poor deserving;
I only feel that, in the road of Life, true Love
Is leading me along and never...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 Home, for my heart still calls me;
Home, through the danger zone;
Home, whatever befalls me,
I will sail again to my own! 

Wolves of the sea are hiding
Closely along the way,
Under the water biding
Their moment to rend and slay. 

Black is the eagle that brands them,
Black are their hearts as the night,
Black is the hate that sends them
To murder but not...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 Hours fly,
Flowers die:
New days,
New ways:
Pass by!
Love stays....Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 Let me but live my life from year to year, 
With forward face and unreluctant soul; 
Not hurrying to, nor turning from the goal; 
Not mourning for the things that disappear 
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear 
From what the future veils; but with a whole 
And happy heart, that pays its toll 
To Youth and...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 "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...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 I

PRELUDE

Daughter of Psyche, pledge of that last night
When, pierced with pain and bitter-sweet delight,
She knew her Love and saw her Lord depart,
Then breathed her wonder and her woe forlorn
Into a single cry, and thou wast born?
Thou flower of rapture and thou fruit of grief;
Invisible enchantress of the heart;
Mistress of charms that bring relief
To sorrow, and to joy impart
A heavenly...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 Count not the cost of honour to the dead! 
The tribute that a mighty nation pays
To those who loved her well in former days 
Means more than gratitude for glories fled; 
For every noble man that she hath bred,
Lives in the bronze and marble that we raise, 
Immortalized by art's immortal praise,
To lead our sons as he our fathers...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 I 

The other night I had a dream, most clear 
And comforting, complete
In every line, a crystal sphere,
And full of intimate and secret cheer. 
Therefore I will repeat
That vision, dearest heart, to you,
As of a thing not feigned, but very true,
Yes, true as ever in my life befell;
And you, perhaps, can tell
Whether my dream was really sad or sweet....Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 I

IN EXCELSIS

Two dwellings, Peace, are thine.
One is the mountain-height,
Uplifted in the loneliness of light
Beyond the realm of shadows,--fine,
And far, and clear,--where advent of the night
Means only glorious nearness of the stars,
And dawn, unhindered, breaks above the bars
That long the lower world in twilight keep.
Thou sleepest not, and hast no need of sleep,
For all thy cares and fears have dropped...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 O Music hast thou only heard
The laughing river, the singing bird,
The murmuring wind in the poplar-trees,--
Nothing but Nature's melodies?
Nay, thou hearest all her tones, 
As a Queen must hear! 
Sounds of wrath and fear, 
Mutterings, shouts, and moans, 
Madness, tumult, and despair,
All she has that shakes the air 
With voices fierce and wild!
Thou art a Queen and not a...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 I 

Once, only once, I saw it clear, --
That Eden every human heart has dreamed
A hundred times, but always far away!
Ah, well do I remember how it seemed,
Through the still atmosphere
Of that enchanted day,
To lie wide open to my weary feet:
A little land of love and joy and rest,
With meadows of soft green,
Rosy with cyclamen, and sweet
With delicate breath...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 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....Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 A tale that the poet Rückert told
To German children, in days of old;
Disguised in a random, rollicking rhyme
Like a merry mummer of ancient time,
And sent, in its English dress, to please
The little folk of the Christmas trees. 

A little fir grew in the midst of the wood 
Contented and happy, as young trees should. 
His body was straight and...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 In robes of Tyrian blue the King was drest,
A jewelled collar shone upon his breast,
A giant ruby glittered in his crown -----
Lord of rich lands and many a splendid town.
In him the glories of an ancient line
Of sober kings, who ruled by right divine,
Were centred; and to him with loyal awe
The people looked for leadership and law.
Ten thousand knights,...Read More

by Dyke, Henry Van
 Break off! Dance no more!
Danger is at the door.
Music is in arms.
To signal war's alarms. 

Hark, a sudden trumpet calling
Over the hill!
Why are you calling, trumpet, calling?
What is your will? 

Men, men, men !
Men who are ready to fight
For their country's life, and the right 
Of a liberty-loving land to be
Free, free, free!
Free from a tyrant's chain, 
Free from...Read More