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.
  Out along the path to sunset,
  While along the river valleys
  Swarmed the wild-bees, the forerunners;
  And the white men, close behind them,
  Men of mark from old Missouri,
  Men of daring from Kentucky,
  Tennessee, Louisiana,
  Men of many States and races,
  Bringing wives and children with them,
  Followed up the wooded valleys,
  Spread across the rolling prairies,
  Raising homes and reaping harvests. 
  Rude the toil that tried their patience,
  Fierce the fights that proved their courage,
  Rough the stone and tough the timber
  Out of which they built their order! 
  Yet they never failed nor faltered,
  And the instinct of their swarming
  Made them one and kept them working,
  Till their toil was crowned with triumph,
  And the country of the Tejas
  Was the fertile land of Texas.



  Behold a star appearing in the South,
  A star that shines apart from other stars,
      Ruddy and fierce like Mars! 
  Out of the reeking smoke of cannon’s mouth
  That veils the slaughter of the Alamo,
      Where heroes face the foe,
  One man against a score, with blood-choked breath
  Shouting the watchword, “Victory or Death—­”
  Out of the dreadful cloud that settles low
      On Goliad’s plain,
  Where thrice a hundred prisoners lie slain
  Beneath the broken word of Mexico—­
  Out of the fog of factions and of feuds
      That ever drifts and broods
  Above the bloody path of border war,
      Leaps the Lone Star!

  What light is this that does not dread the dark? 
  What star is this that fights a stormy way
      To San Jacinto’s field of victory? 
      It is the fiery spark
      That burns within the breast
  Of Anglo-Saxon men, who can not rest
      Under a tyrant’s sway;
      The upward-leading ray
  That guides the brave who give their lives away
      Rather than not be free! 
  O question not, but honour every name,
  Travis and Crockett, Bowie, Bonham, Ward,
  Fannin and King, and all who drew the sword
  And dared to die for Texan liberty! 
  Yea, write them all upon the roll of fame,
  But no less love and equal honour give
  To those who paid the longer sacrifice—­
  Austin and Houston, Burnet, Rusk, Lamar
  And all the stalwart men who dared to live
  Long years of service to the lonely star.

  Great is the worth of such heroic souls: 
  Amid the strenuous turmoil of their deeds,
  They clearly speak of something that controls
  The higher breeds of men by higher needs
  Than bees, content with honey in their hives! 
      Ah, not enough the narrow lives
    On profitable toil intent! 
  And not enough the guerdons of success
  Garnered in homes of affluent selfishness! 

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