Music and Other Poems

Henry van Dyke
Music and Other Poems
by Henry van Dyke
To my son Tertius this book is dedicated
ODES?Music?Peace?Victor Hugo?God of the Open Air
SONNETS?Work?Life?Love?The Child in the Garden?Love's Reason?Portrait and Reality?The Wind of Sorrow?Patria
LEGENDS?A Legend of Service?The Vain King
LYRICS?A Mile with Me?Spring in the South?Love's Nearness?Two Schools?A Prayer for a Mother's Birthday?Indian Summer?One World?Hide and Seek?Dulcis Memoria?Autumn in the Garden?The Message?Light Between the Trees?Reliance
GREETINGS AND INSCRIPTIONS?Katrina's Sun-dial?To James Whitcomb Riley?A Health to Mark Twain?A Rondeau of College Rhymes?The Mocking-bird?The Empty Quatrain?Inscriptions for a Friend's House?The Statue of Sherman by St. Gaudens?The Sun-dial at Wells College
Daughter of Psyche, pledge of that last night?When, pierced with pain and bitter-sweet delight,?She knew her Love and saw her Lord depart,?Then breathed her wonder and her woe forlorn?Into a single cry, and thou wast born??Thou flower of rapture and thou fruit of grief;?Invisible enchantress of the heart;?Mistress of charms that bring relief?To sorrow, and to joy impart?A heavenly tone that keeps it undefiled,--
Thou art the child?Of Amor, and by right divine?A throne of love is thine,?Thou flower-folded, golden-girdled, star-crowned Queen,?Whose bridal beauty mortal eyes have never seen!
Thou art the Angel of the pool that sleeps,?While peace and joy lie hidden in its deeps,?Waiting thy touch to make the waters roll?In healing murmurs round the weary soul.
Ah, when wilt thou draw near,?Thou messenger of mercy robed in song??My lonely heart has listened for thee long;
And now I seem to hear?Across the crowded market-place of life,?Thy measured foot-fall, ringing light and clear?Above the unmeaning noises and the unruly strife;
In quiet cadence, sweet and slow,?Serenely pacing to and fro,?Thy far-off steps are magical and dear.?Ah, turn this way, come close and speak to me!?>From this dull bed of languor set my spirit free,?And bid me rise, and let me walk awhile with thee
Where wilt thou lead me first??In what still region?Of thy domain,?Whose provinces are legion,?Wilt thou restore me to myself again,
And quench my heart's long thirst??I pray thee lay thy golden girdle down,
And put away thy starry crown:?For one dear restful hour?Assume a state more mild.?Clad only in thy blossom-broidered gown?That breathes familiar scent of many a flower,?Take the low path that leads thro' pastures green;
And though thou art a Queen,?Be Rosamund awhile, and in thy bower,?By tranquil love and simple joy beguiled,?Sing to my soul, as mother to her child.
O lead me by the hand,?And let my heart have rest,?And bring me back to childhood land,?To find again the long-lost band
Of playmates blithe and blest.
Some quaint, old-fashioned air,?That all the children knew,?Shall run before us everywhere,?Like a little maid with flying hair,
To guide the merry crew.
Along the garden ways?We chase the light-foot tune,?And in and out the flowery maze,?With eager haste and fond delays,?In pleasant paths of June.
For us the fields are new,?For us the woods are rife?With fairy secrets, deep and true,?And heaven is but a tent of blue
Above the game of life.
The world is far away:?The fever and the fret,?And all that makes the heart grow gray,?Is out of sight and far away,?Dear Music, while I hear thee play?That olden, golden roundelay,
"Remember and forget!"
Forget, forget!?The tide of life is turning;?The waves of light ebb slowly down the west:?Along the edge of dark some stars are burning?To guide thy spirit safely to an isle of rest.
A little rocking on the tranquil deep?Of song, to soothe thy yearning,?A little slumber and a little sleep,
And so, forget, forget!
Forget, forget,--?The day was long in pleasure;?Its echoes die away across the hill;?Now let thy heart beat time to their slow measure?That swells, and sinks, and faints, and falls, till all is still.
Then, like a weary child that loves to keep?Locked in its arms some treasure,?Thy soul in calm content shall fall asleep,
And so forget, forget.
Forget, forget,--?And if thou hast been weeping,?Let go the thoughts that bind thee to thy grief:?Lie still, and watch the singing angels, reaping?The golden harvest of thy sorrow, sheaf by sheaf;
Or count thy joys like flocks of snow-white sheep?That one by one come creeping?Into the quiet fold, until thou sleep,
And so forget, forget!
Forget, forget,--?Thou art a child and knowest?So little of thy life! But music tells?One secret of the world thro' which thou goest?To work with morning song, to rest with evening bells:
Life is in tune with harmony so deep?That when the notes are lowest?Thou still canst lay thee down in peace and sleep,
For God will not forget.
Out of the garden of playtime, out of the bower of rest,?Fain would I follow at daytime, music that calls to a quest.
Hark, how the galloping measure?Quickens the pulses of pleasure;?Gaily saluting the morn?With the long clear note of the hunting-horn
Echoing up from the valley,?Over the mountain side,--?Rally, you hunters, rally,?Rally, and ride!
Drink of the magical potion music has mixed with her wine,?Full of the madness of motion, joyful, exultant, divine!
Leave all your troubles behind you,?Ride where they never can find
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