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.

  She looked at them all with never a thought,
    And careless put them by;
  “I am not fain of the things ye brought,
    Enough of these have I.”

  The last that came was the head of the fleet,
    His name was Jan Borel;
  He bent his knee at the lady’s feet,—­
    In truth he loved her well.

  “I’ve brought thee home the best i’ the world,
    A shipful of Danzig corn!”
  She stared at him long; her red lips curled,
    Her blue eyes filled with scorn.

  “Now out on thee, thou feckless kerl,
    A loon thou art,” she said. 
  “Am I a starving beggar girl? 
    Shall I ever lack for bread?”

  “Go empty all thy sacks of grain
    Into the nearest sea,
  And never show thy face again
    To make a mock of me.”

  Young Jan Borel, he answered naught,
    But in the harbour cast
  The sacks of golden corn he brought,
    And groaned when fell the last.

  Then Jan Borel, he hoisted sail,
    And out to sea he bore;
  He passed the Helder in a gale
    And came again no more.

  But the grains of corn went drifting down
    Like devil-scattered seed,
  To sow the harbour of the town
    With a wicked growth of weed.

  The roots were thick and the silt and sand
    Were gathered day by day,
  Till not a furlong out from land
    A shoal had barred the way.

  Then Staevoren town saw evil years,
    No ships could out or in,
  The boats lay rotting at the piers,
    And the mouldy grain in the bin.

  The grass-grown streets were all forlorn,
    The town in ruin stood,
  The lady’s velvet gown was torn,
    Her rings were sold for food.

  Her father had perished long ago,
    But the lady held her pride,
  She walked with a scornful step and slow,
    Till at last in her rags she died.

  Yet still on the crumbling piers of the town,
    When the midnight moon shines free,
  A woman walks in a velvet gown
    And scatters corn in the sea.




  O who will walk a mile with me
    Along life’s merry way? 
  A comrade blithe and full of glee,
  Who dares to laugh out loud and free,
  And let his frolic fancy play,
  Like a happy child, through the flowers gay
  That fill the field and fringe the way
    Where he walks a mile with me.

  And who will walk a mile with me
    Along life’s weary way? 
  A friend whose heart has eyes to see
  The stars shine out o’er the darkening lea,
  And the quiet rest at the end o’ the day,—­
  A friend who knows, and dares to say,
  The brave, sweet words that cheer the way
    Where he walks a mile with me.

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