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.

  Then weary seems the street parade,
  And weary books, and weary trade: 
    I’m only wishing to go a-fishing;
  For this the month of May was made.


  I guess the pussy-willows now
  Are creeping out on every bough
    Along the brook; and robins look
  For early worms behind the plough.

  The thistle-birds have changed their dun,
  For yellow coats, to match the sun;
    And in the same array of flame
  The Dandelion Show’s begun.

  The flocks of young anemones
  Are dancing round the budding trees: 
    Who can help wishing to go a-fishing
  In days as full of joy as these?


  I think the meadow-lark’s clear sound
  Leaks upward slowly from the ground,
    While on the wing the bluebirds ring
  Their wedding-bells to woods around.

  The flirting chewink calls his dear
  Behind the bush; and very near,
    Where water flows, where green grass grows,
  Song-sparrows gently sing, “Good cheer.”

  And, best of all, through twilight’s calm
  The hermit-thrush repeats his psalm. 
    How much I’m wishing to go a-fishing
  In days so sweet with music’s balm!


  ’Tis not a proud desire of mine;
  I ask for nothing superfine;
    No heavy weight, no salmon great,
  To break the record, or my line.

  Only an idle little stream,
  Whose amber waters softly gleam,
    Where I may wade through woodland shade,
  And cast the fly, and loaf, and dream: 

  Only a trout or two, to dart
  From foaming pools, and try my art: 
    ’Tis all I’m wishing—­old-fashioned fishing,
  And just a day on Nature’s heart.



  Do you remember, father,—­
    It seems so long ago,—­
  The day we fished together
    Along the Pocono? 
  At dusk I waited for you,
    Beside the lumber-mill,
  And there I heard a hidden bird
    That chanted, “whip-poor-will,”
    “Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!
    Sad and shrill,—­“whippoorwill!

  The place was all deserted;
    The mill-wheel hung at rest;
  The lonely star of evening
    Was throbbing in the west;
  The veil of night was falling;
    The winds were folded still;
  And everywhere the trembling air
    Re-echoed “whip-poor-will!”
    “Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!
    Sad and shrill,—­“whippoorwill!

  You seemed so long in coming,
    I felt so much alone;
  The wide, dark world was round me,
    And life was all unknown;
  The hand of sorrow touched me,
    And made my senses thrill
  With all the pain that haunts the strain
    Of mournful whip-poor-will.
    “Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!
    Sad and shrill,—­“whippoorwill!

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