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The Poems of Henry Van Dyke eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 235 pages of information about The Poems of Henry Van Dyke.

  I saw in a vision the field-gray horde
    Break forth at the devil’s hour,
  And trample the earth into crimson mud
    In the rage of the Will to Power,—­
  All this I dreamed in the valley of Kyll,
    At the sign of the blood-red flower.

A SCRAP OF PAPER

  “Will you go to war just for a scrap of paper?”—­Question of the
  German Chancellor to the British Ambassador
, August 5, 1914.

  A mocking question!  Britain’s answer came
  Swift as the light and searching as the flame.

  “Yes, for a scrap of paper we will fight
  Till our last breath, and God defend the right!

  “A scrap of paper where a name is set
  Is strong as duty’s pledge and honor’s debt.

  “A scrap of paper holds for man and wife
  The sacrament of love, the bond of life.

  “A scrap of paper may be Holy Writ
  With God’s eternal word to hallow it.

  “A scrap of paper binds us both to stand
  Defenders of a neutral neighbor land.

  “By God, by faith, by honor, yes!  We fight
  To keep our name upon that paper white.”

September, 1914.

STAND FAST

        Stand fast, Great Britain! 
  Together England, Scotland, Ireland stand
  One in the faith that makes a mighty land,—­
  True to the bond you gave and will not break
  And fearless in the fight for conscience’ sake! 
  Against the Giant Robber clad in steel,
  With blood of trampled Belgium on his heel,
  Striding through France to strike you down at last,
        Britain, stand fast!

        Stand fast, brave land! 
  The Huns are thundering toward the citadel;
  They prate of Culture but their path is Hell;
  Their light is darkness, and the bloody sword
  They wield and worship is their only Lord. 
  O land where reason stands secure on right,
  O land where freedom is the source of light,
  Against the mailed Barbarians’ deadly blast,
        Britain, stand fast!

        Stand fast, dear land! 
  Thou island mother of a world-wide race,
  Whose children speak thy tongue and love thy face,
  Their hearts and hopes are with thee in the strife,
  Their hands will break the sword that seeks thy life;
  Fight on until the Teuton madness cease;
  Fight bravely on, until the word of peace
  Is spoken in the English tongue at last,—­
        Britain, stand fast!

September, 1914.

LIGHTS OUT

(1915)

  “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.

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