The Poems of Henry Van Dyke eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 235 pages of information about The Poems of Henry Van Dyke.
  And here is music, melting every chain
        Of lassitude and pain: 
  And here, at last, is sleep with silent gifts,—­
      Kind sleep, the tender nurse who lifts
  The soul grown weary of the waking world,
      And lays it, with its thoughts all furled,
  Its fears forgotten, and its passions still,
  On the deep bosom of the Eternal Will.

THREE PRAYERS FOR SLEEP AND WAKING

I

BEDTIME

  Ere thou sleepest gently lay
  Every troubled thought away: 
  Put off worry and distress
  As thou puttest off thy dress: 
  Drop thy burden and thy care
  In the quiet arms of prayer.

 Lord, Thou knowest how I live,
  All I’ve done amiss forgive: 
  All of good I’ve tried to do,
  Strengthen, bless, and carry through,
  All I love in safety keep,
  While in Thee I fall asleep.

II

NIGHT WATCH

  If slumber should forsake
    Thy pillow in the dark,
    Fret not thyself to mark
  How long thou liest awake. 
  There is a better way;
    Let go the strife and strain,
    Thine eyes will close again,
  If thou wilt only pray.

 Lord, Thy peaceful gift restore,
  Give my body sleep once more: 
  While I wait my soul will rest
  Like a child upon Thy breast.

III

NEW DAY

  Ere thou risest from thy bed,
  Speak to God Whose wings were spread
  O’er thee in the helpless night: 
  Lo, He wakes thee now with light! 
  Lift thy burden and thy care
  In the mighty arms of prayer.

 Lord, the newness of this day
  Calls me to an untried way: 
  Let me gladly take the road,
  Give me strength to bear my load,
  Thou my guide and helper be—­
  I will travel through with Thee.

The Mission Inn, California, Easter, 1913.

PORTRAIT AND REALITY

  If on the closed curtain of my sight
    My fancy paints thy portrait far away,
    I see thee still the same, by night or day;
  Crossing the crowded street, or moving bright
  ’Mid festal throngs, or reading by the light
    Of shaded lamp some friendly poet’s lay,
    Or shepherding the children at their play,—­
  The same sweet self, and my unchanged delight.

  But when I see thee near, I recognize
    In every dear familiar way some strange
  Perfection, and behold in April guise
    The magic of thy beauty that doth range
  Through many moods with infinite surprise,—­
    Never the same, and sweeter with each change.

THE WIND OF SORROW

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