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Short poem

Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)


              1    Not to the swift, the race:
              2    Not to the strong, the fight:
              3Not to the righteous, perfect grace:
              4    Not to the wise, the light.

              5    But often faltering feet
              6    Come surest to the goal;
              7And they who walk in darkness meet
              8    The sunrise of the soul.

              9    A thousand times by night
            10    The syrian hosts have died;
            11A thousand times the vanquished right
            12    Hath risen, glorified.

            13    The truth the wise men sought
            14    Was spoken by a child;
            15The alabaster box was brought
            16    In trembling hands defiled.

            17    Not from my torch, the gleam,
            18    But from the stars above:
            19Not from my heart, life's crystal stream,
            20    But from the depths of Love.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Henry Van Dyke, Music and Other Poems, 18th edn. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905): 100-01. PS 3117 M87 1905 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1904
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1999.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/31

Composition date: October 1903
Form: quatrains
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Henry Van Dyke