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.

London Times, February 12, 1917.


  Thou warden of the western gate, above Manhattan Bay,
  The fogs of doubt that hid thy face are driven clean away: 
  Thine eyes at last look far and clear, thou liftest high thy hand
  To spread the light of liberty world-wide for every land.

  No more thou dreamest of a peace reserved alone for thee,
  While friends are fighting for thy cause beyond the guardian sea: 
  The battle that they wage is thine; thou fallest if they fall;
  The swollen flood of Prussian pride will sweep unchecked o’er all.

  O cruel is the conquer-lust in Hohenzollern brains: 
  The paths they plot to gain their goal are dark with shameful stains;
  No faith they keep, no law revere, no god but naked Might;
  They are the foemen of mankind.  Up, Liberty, and smite!

  Britain, and France, and Italy, and Russia newly born,
  Have waited for thee in the night.  Oh, come as comes the morn! 
  Serene and strong and full of faith, America, arise,
  With steady hope and mighty help to join thy brave Allies.

  O dearest country of my heart, home of the high desire,
  Make clean thy soul for sacrifice on Freedom’s altar-fire: 
  For thou must suffer, thou must fight, until the warlords cease,
  And all the peoples lift their heads in liberty and peace.

London Times, April 12, 1917.


February, 1917

  I never thought again to hear
  The Oxford thrushes singing clear,
  Amid the February rain,
  Their sweet, indomitable strain.

  A wintry vapor lightly spreads
  Among the trees, and round the beds
  Where daffodil and jonquil sleep;
  Only the snowdrop wakes to weep.

  It is not springtime yet.  Alas,
  What dark, tempestuous days must pass,
  Till England’s trial by battle cease,
  And summer comes again with peace.

  The lofty halls, the tranquil towers,
  Where Learning in untroubled hours
  Held her high court, serene in fame,
  Are lovely still, yet not the same.

  The novices in fluttering gown
  No longer fill the ancient town;
  But fighting men in khaki drest,
  And in the Schools the wounded rest.

  Ah, far away, ’neath stranger skies
  Full many a son of Oxford lies,
  And whispers from his warrior grave,
  “I died to keep the faith you gave.”

  The mother mourns, but does not fail,
  Her courage and her love prevail
  O’er sorrow, and her spirit hears
  The promise of triumphant years.

  Then sing, ye thrushes, in the rain
  Your sweet indomitable strain. 
  Ye bring a word from God on high
  And voices in our hearts reply.


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