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.

  Now as he went, with fading hope, to seek
  The third and last to whom God bade him speak,
  Scarce twenty steps away whom should he meet
  But Fermor, hurrying cheerful down the street,
  With ready heart that faced his work like play,
  And joyed to find it greater every day! 
  The angel stopped him with uplifted hand,
  And gave without delay his Lord’s command: 
  “He whom thou servest here would have thee go
  Alone to Spiran’s huts, across the snow,
  To serve Him there.”  Ere Asmiel breathed again
  The eager answer leaped to meet him, “When?

  The angel’s face with inward joy grew bright,
  And all his figure glowed with heavenly light;
  He took the golden circlet from his brow
  And gave the crown to Fermor, answering, “Now! 
  For thou hast met the Master’s hidden test,
  And I have found the man who loves Him best. 
  Not thine, nor mine, to question or reply
  When He commands us, asking ‘how?’ or ‘why?’
  He knows the cause; His ways are wise and just;
  Who serves the King must serve with perfect trust.”

February, 1902.

THE WHITE BEES

I

LEGEND

  Long ago Apollo called to Aristaeus, youngest of the shepherds,
    Saying, “I will make you keeper of my bees.” 
  Golden were the hives and golden was the honey; golden, too, the music
    Where the honey-makers hummed among the trees.

Happy Aristaeus loitered in the garden, wandered in the orchard,
Careless and contented, indolent and free;
Lightly took his labour, lightly took his pleasure, till the fated moment
When across his pathway came Eurydice.

Then her eyes enkindled burning love within him; drove him wild with
longing
For the perfect sweetness of her flower-like face;
Eagerly he followed, while she fled before him, over mead and mountain,
On through field and forest, in a breathless race.

But the nymph, in flying, trod upon a serpent; like a dream she vanished;
Pluto’s chariot bore her down among the dead! 
Lonely Aristaeus, sadly home returning, found his garden empty,
All the hives deserted, all the music fled.

Mournfully bewailing,—­“Ah, my honey-makers, where have you departed?”
Far and wide he sought them over sea and shore;
Foolish is the tale that says he ever found them, brought them home in
triumph,—­
Joys that once escape us fly for evermore.

Yet I dream that somewhere, clad in downy whiteness, dwell the
honey-makers,
In aerial gardens that no mortal sees: 
And at times returning, lo, they flutter round us, gathering mystic
harvest,—­
So I weave the legend of the long-lost bees.

II

THE SWARMING OF THE BEES

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