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.
  But wakens no response, except the sound
  Of other questions, wandering to and fro,
  From other souls in doubt.  And so this voice
  Persists above all others that I hear,
  And binds them up together into one,
  Until the mingled murmur of the world
  Sounds through the inner temple of my heart
  Like an eternal question, vainly asked
  By every human soul that thinks and feels. 
  This is the heaviness that weighs me down,
  And this the pain that will not let me rest. 
  Therefore, dear Master, shut the gates again,
  And let me live in silence as before! 
  Or else,—­and if there is indeed a gate
  Unopened yet, through which I might receive
  An answer in the voice of perfect peace—­”

  She ceased; and in her upward faltering tone
  The question echoed. 
                        Then the Master said: 
  “There is another gate, not yet unclosed. 
  For through the outer portal of the ear
  Only the outer voice of things may pass;
  And through the middle doorway of the mind
  Only the half-formed voice of human thoughts,
  Uncertain and perplexed with endless doubt;
  But through the inmost gate the spirit hears
  The voice of that great Spirit who is Life. 
  Beneath the tones of living things He breathes
  A deeper tone than ever ear hath heard;
  And underneath the troubled thoughts of men
  He thinks forever, and His thought is peace. 
  Behold, I touch thee once again, my child: 
  The third and last of those three hidden gates
  That closed around thy soul and shut thee in,
  Is open now, and thou shalt truly hear.”

  Then Vera heard.  The spiritual gate
  Was opened softly as a full-blown flower
  Unfolds its heart to welcome in the dawn,
  And on her listening face there shone a light
  Of still amazement and completed joy
  In the full gift of hearing. 
                                What she heard
  I cannot tell; nor could she ever tell
  In words; because all human words are vain. 
  There is no speech nor language, to express
  The secret messages of God, that make
  Perpetual music in the hearing heart. 
  Below the voice of waters, and above
  The wandering voice of winds, and underneath
  The song of birds, and all the varying tones
  Of living things that fill the world with sound,
  God spoke to her, and what she heard was peace.

  So when the Master questioned, “Dost thou hear?”
  She answered, “Yea, at last I hear.”  And then
  He asked her once again, “What hearest thou? 
  What means the voice of Life?” She answered, “Love! 
  For love is life, and they who do not love
  Are not alive.  But every soul that loves,
  Lives in the heart of God and hears Him speak.”




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