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

  But look, her violet eyes are wet
    With bright, unfallen, dewy tears;
    And in her song my fancy hears
  A note of sorrow trembling yet. 
  Perhaps, beyond the town, she met
    Old Winter as he limped away
    To die forlorn, and let him lay
    His weary head upon her knee,
    And kissed his forehead with regret
    For one so gray and lonely,—­see,
  Her eyes with tender tears are wet.

  And so, by night, while we were all at rest,
  I think the coming sped the parting guest.

1873.

IF ALL THE SKIES

If all the skies were sunshine, Our faces would be fain To feel once more upon them The cooling plash of rain.

  If all the world were music,
    Our hearts would often long
  For one sweet strain of silence. 
    To break the endless song.

  If life were always merry,
    Our souls would seek relief,
  And rest from weary laughter
    In the quiet arms of grief.

WINGS OF A DOVE

I

At sunset, when the rosy light was dying
Far down the pathway of the west,
I saw a lonely dove in silence flying,
To be at rest.

Pilgrim of air, I cried, could I but borrow
Thy wandering wings, thy freedom blest,
I’d fly away from every careful sorrow,
And find my rest.

II

But when the filmy veil of dusk was falling,
Home flew the dove to seek his nest,
Deep in the forest where his mate was calling
To love and rest.

Peace, heart of mine! no longer sigh to wander;
Lose not thy life in barren quest. 
There are no happy islands over yonder;
Come home and rest.

1874.

THE FALL OF THE LEAVES

I

  In warlike pomp, with banners flowing,
    The regiments of autumn stood: 
  I saw their gold and scarlet glowing
    From every hillside, every wood.

  Above the sea the clouds were keeping
    Their secret leaguer, gray and still;
  They sent their misty vanguard creeping
    With muffled step from hill to hill.

  All day the sullen armies drifted
    Athwart the sky with slanting rain;
  At sunset for a space they lifted,
    With dusk they settled down again.

II

  At dark the winds began to blow
  With mutterings distant, low;
    From sea and sky they called their strength
      Till with an angry, broken roar,
      Like billows on an unseen shore,
  Their fury burst at length.

  I heard through the night
    The rush and the clamour;
  The pulse of the fight
    Like blows of Thor’s hammer;
  The pattering flight
  Of the leaves, and the anguished
  Moan of the forest vanquished.

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