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.
  And every soul denied the right to grow
  Beneath the flag, shall be its secret foe. 
  Bow down, dear land, in penitence and shame! 
  Remember now thine oath, so nobly sworn,
      To guard an equal lot
  For every child within thy borders born! 
  These are thy children whom thou hast forgot: 
  They have the bitter right to live, but not
  The blessed right to look for happiness. 
  O lift thy liberating hand once more,
  To loose thy little ones from dark duress;
  The vital gladness to their hearts restore
  In healthful lessons and in happy play;
  And set them free to climb the upward way
  That leads to self-reliant nobleness. 
  Speak out, my country, speak at last,
      As thou hast spoken in the past,
      And clearly, bravely say: 
      “I will defend
  The coming race on whom my hopes depend: 
  Beneath my flag and on my sacred soil
  No child shall bear the crushing yoke of toil.”


  Look up, look up, ye downcast eyes! 
      The night is almost gone: 
  Along the new horizon flies
      The banner of the dawn;
  The eastern sky is banded low
      With white and crimson bars,
  While far above the morning glow
      The everlasting stars.

 O bright flag, O brave flag, O flag to lead the free! 
      The hand of God thy colours blent,
      And heaven to earth thy glory lent,
      To shield the weak, and guide the strong
      To make an end of human wrong,
  And draw a countless human host to follow after thee!


    Ye gods of battle, lords of fear,
      Who work your iron will as well
    As once ye did with sword and spear,
      With rifled gun and rending shell,—­
    Masters of sea and land, forbear
  The fierce invasion of the inviolate air!

    With patient daring man hath wrought
      A hundred years for power to fly;
    And will you make his winged thought
      A hovering horror in the sky,
    Where flocks of human eagles sail,
  Dropping their bolts of death on hill and dale?

    Ah no, the sunset is too pure,
      The dawn too fair, the noon too bright
    For wings of terror to obscure
      Their beauty, and betray the night
    That keeps for man, above his wars,
  The tranquil vision of untroubled stars.

    Pass on, pass on, ye lords of fear! 
      Your footsteps in the sea are red,
    And black on earth your paths appear
      With ruined homes and heaps of dead. 
    Pass on to end your transient reign,
  And leave the blue of heaven without a stain.

   The wrong ye wrought will fall to dust,
      The right ye shielded will abide;
    The world at last will learn to trust
      In law to guard, and love to guide;
    And Peace of God that answers prayer
  Will fall like dew from the inviolate air.

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