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.


  Honour the brave who sleep
    Where the lost “Titanic” lies,
  The men who knew what a man must do
    When he looks Death in the eyes.

  “Women and children first,”—­
    Ah, strong and tender cry! 
  The sons whom women had borne and nursed,
    Remembered,—­and dared to die.

  The boats crept off in the dark: 
    The great ship groaned:  and then,—­
  O stars of the night, who saw that sight,
    Bear witness, These were men!

November 9, 1912.



  “How can I tell,” Sir Edmund said,
    “Who has the right or the wrong o’ this thing? 
    Cromwell stands for the people’s cause,
    Charles is crowned by the ancient laws;
  English meadows are sopping red,
  Englishmen striking each other dead,—­
    Times are black as a raven’s wing. 
  Out of the ruck and the murk I see
      Only one thing! 
  The King has trusted his banner to me,
    And I must fight for the King.”


  Into the thick of the Edgehill fight
    Sir Edmund rode with a shout; and the ring
    Of grim-faced, hard-hitting Parliament men
    Swallowed him up,—­it was one against ten! 
  He fought for the standard with all his might,
  Never again did he come to sight—­
    Victor, hid by the raven’s wing! 
  After the battle had passed we found
      Only one thing,—­
  The hand of Sir Edmund gripped around
    The banner-staff of his King.



  When Staevoren town was in its prime
    And queened the Zuyder Zee,
  Her ships went out to every clime
    With costly merchantry.

  A lady dwelt in that rich town,
    The fairest in all the land;
  She walked abroad in a velvet gown,
    With many rings on her hand.

  Her hair was bright as the beaten gold,
    Her lips as coral red,
  Her roving eyes were blue and bold,
    And her heart with pride was fed.

  For she was proud of her father’s ships,
    As she watched them gaily pass;
  And pride looked out of her eyes and lips
    When she saw herself in the glass.

  “Now come,” she said to the captains ten,
    Who were ready to put to sea,
  “Ye are all my men and my father’s men,
    And what will ye do for me?”

  “Go north and south, go east and west,
    And get me gifts,” she said. 
  “And he who bringeth me home the best,
    With that man will I wed.”

  So they all fared forth, and sought with care
    In many a famous mart,
  For satins and silks and jewels rare,
    To win that lady’s heart.

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