The Poems of Henry Van Dyke eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 381 pages of information about The Poems of Henry Van Dyke.

  I like the tune, I like the words;
    They seem so true, so free from art,
    So friendly, and so full of heart,
  That if but one of all the birds
    Could be my comrade everywhere,
    My little brother of the air,
  I’d choose the song-sparrow, my dear,
  Because he’d bless me, every year,
  With “Sweet—­sweet—­sweet—­very merry cheer.



  When May bedecks the naked trees
  With tassels and embroideries,
  And many blue-eyed violets beam
  Along the edges of the stream,
  I hear a voice that seems to say,
  Now near at hand, now far away,

  An incantation so serene,
  So innocent, befits the scene: 
  There’s magic in that small bird’s note—­
  See, there he flits—­the Yellow-throat;
  A living sunbeam, tipped with wings,
  A spark of light that shines and sings

  You prophet with a pleasant name,
  If out of Mary-land you came,
  You know the way that thither goes
  Where Mary’s lovely garden grows: 
  Fly swiftly back to her, I pray,
  And try to call her down this way,

  Tell her to leave her cockle-shells,
  And all her little silver bells
  That blossom into melody,
  And all her maids less fair than she. 
  She does not need these pretty things,
  For everywhere she comes, she brings

  The woods are greening overhead,
  And flowers adorn each mossy bed;
  The waters babble as they run—­
  One thing is lacking, only one: 
  If Mary were but here to-day,
  I would believe your charming lay,

  Along the shady road I look—­
  Who’s coming now across the brook? 
  A woodland maid, all robed in white—­
  The leaves dance round her with delight,
  The stream laughs out beneath her feet—­
  Sing, merry bird, the charm’s complete,



  Afterthought of summer’s bloom! 
  Late arrival at the feast,
  Coming when the songs have ceased
  And the merry guests departed,
  Leaving but an empty room,
  Silence, solitude, and gloom,—­
  Are you lonely, heavy-hearted;
  You, the last of all your kind,
  Nodding in the autumn-wind;
  Now that all your friends are flown,
  Blooming late and all alone?

  Nay, I wrong you, little flower,
  Reading mournful mood of mine
  In your looks, that give no sign
  Of a spirit dark and cheerless! 
  You possess the heavenly power
  That rejoices in the hour. 
  Glad, contented, free, and fearless,
  Lift a sunny face to heaven
  When a sunny day is given! 
  Make a summer of your own,
  Blooming late and all alone!

Project Gutenberg
The Poems of Henry Van Dyke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.