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      Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)

          from The Fall of the Leaves


    IN warlike pomp, with banners flowing,
        The regiments of autumn stood:
    I saw their gold and scarlet glowing
        From every hillside, every wood.

    Above the sea the clouds were keeping
        Their secret leaguer, gray and still;
    They sent their misty vanguard creeping
        With muffled step from hill to hill.

    All day the sullen armies drifted
        Athwart the sky with slanting rain;
    At sunset for a space they lifted,
        With dusk they settled down again


The above is the first of three sections of Van Dyke's 1874 The Fall of the Leaves. The two that follow are, in comparison, disappointing.

A Presbyterian Minister, Henry Van Dyke is perhaps best known for The Story of the Other Wise Man and for the Hymn of Joy ("Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, ..."). He was also a prolific poet, and the above can be found in:

  • Van Dyke, Henry. The Poems of Henry Van Dyke. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911.