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.
leave it still as death. 
          But hark,—­
        Another singing breath
      Comes from the edge of dark;
        A note as clear and slow
      As falls from some enchanted bell,
      Or spirit, passing from the world below,
        That whispers back, Farewell.

        So in the heart,
      When, fading slowly down the past,
        Fond memories depart,
      And each that leaves it seems the last;
      Long after all the rest are flown,
      Returns a solitary tone,—­
      The after-echo of departed years,—­
      And touches all the soul to tears.



  A tear that trembles for a little while
  Upon the trembling eyelid, till the world
  Wavers within its circle like a dream,
  Holds more of meaning in its narrow orb
  Than all the distant landscape that it blurs.

  A smile that hovers round a mouth beloved,
  Like the faint pulsing of the Northern Light,
  And grows in silence to an amber dawn
  Born in the sweetest depths of trustful eyes,
  Is dearer to the soul than sun or star.

  A joy that falls into the hollow heart
  From some far-lifted height of love unseen,
  Unknown, makes a more perfect melody
  Than hidden brooks that murmur in the dusk,
  Or fall athwart the cliff with wavering gleam.

  Ah, not for their own sake are earth and sky
  And the fair ministries of Nature dear,
  But as they set themselves unto the tune
  That fills our life; as light mysterious
  Flows from within and glorifies the world.

  For so a common wayside blossom, touched
  With tender thought, assumes a grace more sweet
  Than crowns the royal lily of the South;
  And so a well-remembered perfume seems
  The breath of one who breathes in Paradise.





  At dawn in silence moves the mighty stream,
    The silver-crested waves no murmur make;
    But far away the avalanches wake
  The rumbling echoes, dull as in a dream;
  Their momentary thunders, dying, seem
    To fall into the stillness, flake by flake,
    And leave the hollow air with naught to break
  The frozen spell of solitude supreme.

  At noon unnumbered rills begin to spring
    Beneath the burning sun, and all the walls
  Of all the ocean-blue crevasses ring
    With liquid lyrics of their waterfalls;
  As if a poet’s heart had felt the glow
  Of sovereign love, and song began to flow.

Zermatt, 1872.



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