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

III

PLAY SONG

    O lead me by the hand,
    And let my heart have rest,
  And bring me back to childhood land,
  To find again the long-lost band
    Of playmates blithe and blest.

    Some quaint, old-fashioned air,
    That all the children knew,
  Shall run before us everywhere,
  Like a little maid with flying hair,
    To guide the merry crew.

    Along the garden ways
    We chase the light-foot tune,
  And in and out the flowery maze,
  With eager haste and fond delays,
    In pleasant paths of June.

    For us the fields are new,
    For us the woods are rife
  With fairy secrets, deep and true,
  And heaven is but a tent of blue
    Above the game of life.

    The world is far away: 
    The fever and the fret,
  And all that makes the heart grow gray,
  Is out of sight and far away,
  Dear Music, while I hear thee play
  That olden, golden roundelay,
    “Remember and forget!”

IV

SLEEP SONG

Forget, forget! 
The tide of life is turning;
The waves of light ebb slowly down the west: 
Along the edge of dark some stars are burning
To guide thy spirit safely to an isle of rest. 
A little rocking on the tranquil deep
Of song, to soothe thy yearning,
A little slumber and a little sleep,
And so, forget, forget!

Forget, forget,—­
The day was long in pleasure;
Its echoes die away across the hill;
Now let thy heart beat time to their slow measure,
That swells, and sinks, and faints, and falls, till all is still. 
Then, like a weary child that loves to keep
Locked in its arms some treasure,
Thy soul in calm content shall fall asleep,
And so forget, forget.

Forget, forget,—­
And if thou hast been weeping,
Let go the thoughts that bind thee to thy grief: 
Lie still, and watch the singing angels, reaping
The golden harvest of thy sorrow, sheaf by sheaf;
Or count thy joys like flocks of snow-white sheep
That one by one come creeping
Into the quiet fold, until thou sleep,
And so forget, forget!

Forget, forget,—­
Thou art a child and knowest
So little of thy life!  But music tells
The secret of the world through which thou goest
To work with morning song, to rest with evening bells: 
Life is in tune with harmony so deep
That when the notes are lowest
Thou still canst lay thee down in peace and sleep,
For God will not forget.

V

HUNTING SONG

Out of the garden of playtime, out of the bower of rest,
Fain would I follow at daytime, music that calls to a quest. 
Hark, how the galloping measure
Quickens the pulses of pleasure;
Gaily saluting the morn
With the long, clear note of the hunting-horn,
Echoing up from the valley,
Over the mountain side,—­
Rally, you hunters, rally,
Rally, and ride!

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