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.

          “And what shall we see there,
          But streets that are new and bare,
  And many a desolate place that the city is coming to fill;
          And a soldier’s tomb of stone,
          And a few trees standing alone—­
  Will you walk for that through the cold, to the edge of Claremont Hill?”

          But there’s more than that for me,
          In the place that I fain would see: 
  There’s a glimpse of the grace that helps us all to bear life’s ill,
          A touch of the vital breath
          That keeps the world from death,
  A flower that never fades, on the edge of Claremont Hill.

          For just where the road swings round,
          In a narrow strip of ground,
  Where a group of forest trees are lingering fondly still,
          There’s a grave of the olden time,
          When the garden bloomed in its prime,
  And the children laughed and sang on the edge of Claremont Hill.

          The marble is pure and white,
          And even in this dim light,
  You may read the simple words that are written there if you will;
          You may hear a father tell
          Of the child he loved so well,
  A hundred years ago, on the edge of Claremont Hill.

          The tide of the city has rolled
          Across that bower of old,
  And blotted out the beds of the rose and the daffodil;
          But the little playmate sleeps,
          And the shrine of love still keeps
  A record of happy days, on the edge of Claremont Hill.

          The river is pouring down
          To the crowded, careless town,
  Where the intricate wheels of trade are grinding on like a mill;
          But the clamorous noise and strife
          Of the hurrying waves of life
  Flow soft by this haven of peace on the edge of Claremont Hill.

          And after all, my friend,
          When the tale of our years shall end,
  Be it long or short, or lowly or great, as God may will,
          What better praise could we hear,
          Than this of the child so dear: 
  You have made my life more sweet, on the edge of Claremont Hill?

December, 1896.


(Song for the City College of New York)

  O youngest of the giant brood
    Of cities far-renowned;
  In wealth and glory thou hast passed
    Thy rivals at a bound;
  Thou art a mighty queen, New York;
    And how wilt thou be crowned?

  “Weave me no palace-wreath of Pride,”
    The royal city said;
  “Nor forge of frowning fortress-walls
    A helmet for my head;
  But let me wear a diadem
    Of Wisdom’s towers instead.”

  She bowed herself, she spent herself,
    She wrought her will forsooth,
  And set upon her island height
    A citadel of Truth,
  A house of Light, a home of Thought,
    A shrine of noble Youth.

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