The Poems of Henry Van Dyke eBook

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

  The Master’s face was turned aside from her;
  His eyes looked far away, as if he saw
  Something beyond her sight; and yet she knew
  That he was listening; for her pleading voice
  No sooner ceased than he put forth his hand
  To touch her brow, and very gently spoke: 
  “Thou seekest for thyself a wondrous gift,—­
  The opening of the second gate, a gift
  That many wise men have desired in vain: 
  But some have found it,—­whether well or ill
  For their own peace, they have attained the power
  To hear unspoken thoughts of other men. 
  And thou hast begged this gift?  Thou shalt receive,—­
  Not knowing what thou seekest,—­it is thine: 
  The second gate is open!  Thou shalt hear
  All that men think and feel within their hearts: 
  Thy prayer is granted, daughter, go thy way! 
  But if thou findest sorrow on this path,
  Come back again,—­there is a path to peace.”

III

  Beyond our power of vision, poets say,
  There is another world of forms unseen,
  Yet visible to purer eyes than ours. 
  And if the crystal of our sight were clear,
  We should behold the mountain-slopes of cloud,
  The moving meadows of the untilled sea,
  The groves of twilight and the dales of dawn,
  And every wide and lonely field of air,
  More populous than cities, crowded close
  With living creatures of all shapes and hues. 
  But if that sight were ours, the things that now
  Engage our eyes would seem but dull and dim
  Beside the wonders of our new-found world,
  And we should be amazed and overwhelmed
  Not knowing how to use the plenitude
  Of vision. 
              So in Vera’s soul, at first,
  The opening of the second gate of sound
  Let in confusion like a whirling flood. 
  The murmur of a myriad-throated mob;
  The trampling of an army through a place
  Where echoes hide; the sudden, whistling flight
  Of an innumerable flock of birds
  Along the highway of the midnight sky;
  The many-whispered rustling of the reeds
  Beneath the passing feet of all the winds;
  The long-drawn, inarticulate, wailing cry
  Of million-pebbled beaches when the lash
  Of stormy waves is drawn across their back,—­
  All these were less bewildering than to hear
  What now she heard at once:  the tangled sound
  Of all that moves within the minds of men. 
  For now there was no measured flow of words
  To mark the time; nor any interval
  Of silence to repose the listening ear. 
  But through the dead of night, and through the calm
  Of weary noon-tide, through the solemn hush
  That fills the temple in the pause of praise,
  And through the breathless awe in rooms of death,
  She heard the ceaseless motion and the stir
  Of never-silent hearts, that fill the world
  With interwoven thoughts of good and ill,

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