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 . Love of Life

    LOVE you not the tall trees spreading wide their branches,
    Cooling with their green shade the sunny days of June?
    Love you not the little bird lost among the leaflets,
    Dreamily repeating a quaint, brief tune?

    Is there not a joy in the waste windy places;
    Is there not a song by the long dusty way?
    Is there not a glory in the sudden hour of struggle?
    Is there not a peace in the long quiet day?

    Love you not the meadows with the deep lush grasses;
    Love you not the cloud-flocks noiseless in their flight?
    Love you not the cool wind that stirs to meet the sunrise;
    Love you not the stillness of the warm summer night?

    Have you never wept with a grief that slowly passes;
    Have you never laughed when a joy goes running by?
    Know you not the peace of rest that follows labor? --
    You have not learnt to live then; how can you dare to die?

    Tertius Van Dyke

 . Oxford Revisited in War-Time

    BENEATH fair Magdalen's storied towers
    I wander in a dream,
    And hear the mellow chimes float out
    O'er Cherwell's ice-bound stream.

    Throstle and blackbird stiff with cold
    Hop on the frozen grass;
    Among the aged, upright oaks
    The dun deer slowly pass.

    The chapel organ rolls and swells,
    And voices still praise God;
    But ah! the thought of youthful friends
    Who lie beneath the sod.

    Now wounded men with gallant eyes
    Go hobbling down the street,
    And nurses from the hospitals
    Speed by with tireless feet.

    The town is full of uniforms,
    And through the stormy sky,
    Frightening the rooks from the tallest trees,
    The aeroplanes roar by.

    The older faces still are here,
    More grave and true and kind,
    Ennobled by the steadfast toil
    Of patient heart and mind.

    And old-time friends are dearer grown
    To fill a double place:
    Unshaken faith makes glorious
    Each forward-looking face.

    Old Oxford walls are grey and worn:
    She knows the truth of tears,
    But to-day she stands in her ancient pride
    Crowned with eternal years.

    Gone are her sons: yet her heart is glad
    In the glory of their youth,
    For she brought them forth to live and die
    By freedom, justice, truth.

    Cold moonlight falls on silent tower;
    The young ghosts walk with the old;
    But Oxford dreams of the dawn of May
    And her heart is free and bold.

    Tertius Van Dyke, Magdalen College, January, 1917

 . Indian Summer

    A SILKEN curtain veils the skies,
    And half conceals from pensive eyes
    The bronzing tokens of the fall;
    A calmness broods upon the hills,
    And summer's parting dream distills
    A charm of silence over all.
    The stacks of corn, in brown array,
    Stand waiting through the tranquil day,
    Like tattered wigwams on the plain;
    The tribes that find a shelter there
    Are phantom peoples, forms of air,
    And ghosts of vanished joy and pain.
    At evening when the crimson crest
    Of sunset passes down the West,
    I hear the whspering host returning;
    On far-off fields, by elm and oak,
    I see the lights, I smell the smoke,--
    The Camp-fires of the past are burning.

    Tertius and Henry Van Dyke, November, 1903


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