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.

  But in thy belfry, O Malines,
  The master of the bells unseen
  Has climbed to where the keyboard stands,—­
  To-night his heart is in his hands! 
  Once more, before invasion’s hell
  Breaks round the tower he loves so well,
  Once more he strikes the well-worn keys,
  And sends aerial harmonies
  Far-floating through the twilight dim
  In patriot song and holy hymn.

  O listen, burghers of Malines! 
  Soldier and workman, pale beguine,
  And mother with a trembling flock
  Of children clinging to thy frock,—­
  Look up and listen, listen all! 
  What tunes are these that gently fall
  Around you like a benison? 
  “The Flemish Lion,” “Brabanconne,”
  “O brave Liege,” and all the airs
  That Belgium in her bosom bears.

  Ring up, ye silvery octaves high,
  Whose notes like circling swallows fly;
  And ring, each old sonorous bell,—­
  “Jesu,” “Maria,” “Michael!”
  Weave in and out, and high and low,
  The magic music that you know,
  And let it float and flutter down
  To cheer the heart of the troubled town. 
  Ring out, “Salvator,” lord of all,—­
  “Roland” in Ghent may hear thee call!

  O brave bell-music of Malines,
  In this dark hour how much you mean! 
  The dreadful night of blood and tears
  Sweeps down on Belgium, but she hears
  Deep in her heart the melody
  Of songs she learned when she was free. 
  She will not falter, faint, nor fail,
  But fight until her rights prevail
  And all her ancient belfries ring
  “The Flemish Lion,” “God Save the King!”



  What hast thou done, O womanhood of France,
    Mother and daughter, sister, sweetheart, wife,
    What hast thou done, amid this fateful strife,
  To prove the pride of thine inheritance
  In this fair land of freedom and romance? 
    I hear thy voice with tears and courage rife,—­
    Smiling against the swords that seek thy life,—­
  Make answer in a noble utterance: 
  “I give France all I have, and all she asks. 
    Would it were more!  Ah, let her ask and take: 
  My hands to nurse her wounded, do her tasks,—­
    My feet to run her errands through the dark,—­
  My heart to bleed in triumph for her sake,—­
    And all my soul to follow thee, Jeanne d’Arc!”

April 16, 1916.

[2] This sonnet belongs with the poem on page 309,
    “Come Back Again, Jeanne D’Arc.”


  Give us a name to fill the mind
  With the shining thoughts that lead mankind,
  The glory of learning, the joy of art,—­
  A name that tells of a splendid part
  In the long, long toil and the strenuous fight
  Of the human race to win its way
  From the feudal darkness into the day
  Of Freedom, Brotherhood, Equal Right,—­
  A name like a star, a name of light. 
      I give you France!

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