Henry Van Dyke was a famous short story writer, poet, and essayist. He was a very versatile writer as he wrote and expressed his thoughts in various fields including religion, literature, education and diplomacy. During the early stage of his career, he served as a Presbyterian minister and later became a pastor. Henry while serving as a minister started his writing career with an article in the Harper’s Monthly Magazine. His first published book was ‘The Poem of Tennyson’ which made him a prominent figure in the literary world. He also wrote many books on religion including ‘The True Presbyterian Doctrine of the Church’ and ‘The Christ-Child in Art’. His most notable book on religion was “The Story of the Other Wise Man” which aimed at explaining how ‘serving the humanity is the service to god’. This book became globally famous and had to be translated into various languages. He went on to write poetry on Christianity and was also appointed as the US Ambassador to Netherlands and Luxembourg. His writings covered several subjects and viewpoints. Here is a compilation of thoughts and quotations by Henry Van Dyke. We have excerpted his quotes from the vast sea of his work and life. Go through the treasure trove of sayings and quotes by Henry Van Dyke.
To desire and strive to be of some service to the world, to aim at doing something which shall really increase the happiness and welfare and virtue of mankind - this is a choice which is possible for all of us; and surely it is a good haven to sail for.
A river is the most human and companionable of all inanimate things. It has a life, a character, a voice of its own; and it is as full of good fellowship as a sugar maple is of sap. It can talk in various tones, loud or low, and of many subjects grave and gay.... For real company and friendship there is nothing, outside of the animal kingdom, that is comparable to a river.
If all the skies were sunshine Our faces would be fain To feel once more upon them The cooling splash of rain. If all the world were music, Our hearts would often long For one sweet strain of silence, To break the endless song If life were always merry, Our souls would seek relief, And rest from weary laughter In the quiet arms of grief.
Be glαd of life, becαuse it gives you the chαnce to love αnd to work αnd to plαy αnd to look up αt the stαrs; to be sαtisfied with your posessions, to despise nothing in the world except fαlsehood αnd meαnness αnd to feαr nothing except cowαrdice; to be governed by your αdmirαtions rαther thαn by your disgusts, to covet nothing thαt is your neighbour's except his kindness of heαrt αnd gentleness of mαnners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends and to spend αs much time αs you cαn with body αnd with spirit.
These are the things I prize And hold of dearest worth: Light of the sapphire skies, Peace of the silent hills, Shelter of the forests, comfort of the grass, Music of birds, murmur of little rills, Shadows of cloud that swiftly pass, And, after showers, The smell of flowers And of the good brown earth,- And best of all, along the way, friendship and mirth.
Thou warden of the western gate, above Manhattan Bay, The fogs of doubt that hid thy face are driven clean away: Thine eyes at last look far and clear, thou liftest high thy hand To spread the light of liberty world-wide for every land.
Henry Van Dyke
Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.
There are many kinds of love, as many kinds of light,
And every kind of love makes a glory in the night.
There is love that stirs the heart, and love that gives it rest,
But the love that leads life upward is the noblest and the best.
It is better to follow even the shadow of the best, than to remain content with the worst.
Henry Van Dyke
The best rose-bush, after all, is not that which has the fewest thorns, but that which bears the finest roses.
Henry Van Dyke
A tear that trembles for a little while
Upon the trembling eyelid, till the world
Wavers within its circle like a dream,
Holds more of meaning in its narrow orb
Than all the distant landscape that it blurs.
Religion? Yes, I know it well; I've heard its prayers and creeds, And seen men put them all to shame with poor, half-hearted deeds. They follow Christ, but far away; they wander and they doubt. I'll serve him in a better way, and live his precepts out.
Ere thou sleepest, gently lay Every troubled thought away; Put off worry and distress As thou puttest off thy dress; Drop thy burden and thy care In the quiet arms of prayer. Lord thou knowest how I live, All I'VE DONE AMISS FORGIVE; ALL OF GOOD I'VE TRIED TO DO STRENGTHEN, bless and carry through; All I love in safety keep While in Thee I fall asleep.
Who can explain the secret pathos of Nature's loveliness? It is a touch of melancholy inherited from our mother Eve. It is an unconscious memory of the lost Paradise. It is the sense that even if we should find another Eden, we would not be fit to enjoy it perfectly nor stay in it forever.
The meditative angler is not exempt from sensational periods. There are times when all the uncertainty of his chosen pursuit seems to condense itself into one big chance, and stand out before him like a salmon on the top wave of a rapid. He sees his luck hangs by a single strand of gut, and he cannot tell whether it will hold or break. This is the thrilling moment and he never forgets it.
The shadow by my finger cast Divides the future from the past: Before it, sleeps the unborn hour, In darkness, and beyond thy power. Behind its unreturning line, The vanished hour, no longer thine: One hour alone is in thy hands,- The NOW on which the shadow stands.
Never believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it to be true; never tell even that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary - and remember that God is listening while you tell it.