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.


  When down the stair at morning
    The sunbeams round her float,
  Sweet rivulets of laughter
    Are rippling in her throat;
  The gladness of her greeting
    Is gold without alloy;
  And in the morning sunlight
    I think her name is Joy.

  When in the evening twilight
    The quiet book-room lies,
  We read the sad old ballads,
    While from her hidden eyes
  The tears are falling, falling,
    That give her heart relief;
  And in the evening twilight,
    I think her name is Grief.

  My little April lady,
    Of sunshine and of showers
  She weaves the old spring magic,
    And my heart breaks in flowers! 
  But when her moods are ended,
    She nestles like a dove;
  Then, by the pain and rapture,
    I know her name is Love.


  I envy every flower that blows
  Along the meadow where she goes,
    And every bird that sings to her,
    And every breeze that brings to her
      The fragrance of the rose.

  I envy every poet’s rhyme
  That moves her heart at eventime,
    And every tree that wears for her
    Its brightest bloom, and bears for her
      The fruitage of its prime.

  I envy every Southern night
  That paves her path with moonbeams white,
    And silvers all the leaves for her,
    And in their shadow weaves for her
      A dream of dear delight.

  I envy none whose love requires
  Of her a gift, a task that tires: 
    I only long to live to her,
    I only ask to give to her,
      All that her heart desires.


  Like a long arrow through the dark the train is darting,
    Bearing me far away, after a perfect day of love’s delight: 
  Wakeful with all the sad-sweet memories of parting,
    I lift the narrow window-shade and look out on the night.

  Lonely the land unknown, and like a river flowing,
    Forest and field and hill are gliding backward still athwart my dream;
  Till in that country strange, and ever stranger growing,
    A magic city full of lights begins to glow and gleam.

Wide through the landscape dim the lamps are lit in millions;
Long avenues unfold clear-shining lines of gold across the green;
Clusters and rings of light, and luminous pavilions,—­
Oh, who will tell the city’s name, and what these wonders mean?

Why do they beckon me, and what have they to show me? 
Crowds in the blazing street, mirth where the feasters meet, kisses and
Many to laugh with me, but never one to know me: 
A cityful of stranger-hearts and none to beat with mine!

Look how the glittering lines are wavering and lifting,—­
Softly the breeze of night scatters the vision bright:  and, passing
Over the meadow-grass and through the forest drifting,
The Fire-Fly City of the Dark is lost in empty air!

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