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.

  Give us a name to stir the blood
  With a warmer glow and a swifter flood,
  At the touch of a courage that conquers fear,—­
  A name like the sound of a trumpet, clear,
  And silver-sweet, and iron-strong,
  That calls three million men to their feet,
  Ready to march, and steady to meet
  The foes who threaten that name with wrong,—­
  A name that rings like a battle-song. 
      I give you France!

  Give us a name to move the heart
  With the strength that noble griefs impart,
  A name that speaks of the blood outpoured
  To save mankind from the sway of the sword,—­
  A name that calls on the world to share
  In the burden of sacrificial strife
  When the cause at stake is the world’s free life
  And the rule of the people everywhere,—­
  A name like a vow, a name like a prayer. 
      I give you France!

The Hague, September, 1916.


  They tell me thou art rich, my country:  gold
    In glittering flood has poured into thy chest;
    Thy flocks and herds increase, thy barns are pressed
  With harvest, and thy stores can hardly hold
  Their merchandise; unending trains are rolled
    Along thy network rails of East and West;
    Thy factories and forges never rest;
  Thou art enriched in all things bought and sold!

  But dost thou prosper?  Better news I crave. 
    O dearest country, is it well with thee
      Indeed, and is thy soul in health? 
  A nobler people, hearts more wisely brave,
    And thoughts that lift men up and make them free,—­
      These are prosperity and vital wealth!

The Hague, October 1, 1916.


  The glory of ships is an old, old song,
    since the days when the sea-rovers ran,
  In their open boats through the roaring surf,
    and the spread of the world began;
  The glory of ships is a light on the sea,
    and a star in the story of man.

  When Homer sang of the galleys of Greece
    that conquered the Trojan shore,
  And Solomon lauded the barks of Tyre
    that brought great wealth to his door,
  ’Twas little they knew, those ancient men,
    what would come of the sail and the oar.

  The Greek ships rescued the West from the East,
    when they harried the Persians home;
  And the Roman ships were the wings of strength
    that bore up the empire, Rome;
  And the ships of Spain found a wide new world,
    far over the fields of foam.

  Then the tribes of courage at last saw clear
    that the ocean was not a bound,
  But a broad highway, and a challenge to seek
    for treasure as yet unfound;
  So the fearless ships fared forth to the search,
    in joy that the globe was round.

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