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A collection of quotes and sayings by Henry Van Dyke on love, time, Bible, Christianity, life, Christmas, inspiration, death, writing, courage, time, friendship and faith.

62 Great Henry Van Dyke Quotes That Give Life Lessons

Quick Facts

Also Listed In

Famous As
Author, Educator, & Clergyman

Born On
10 November 1852 AD

Died On
10 April 1933 AD

Born In
Philadelphia

Died At Age
80

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.

Time is Too Slow for those who Wait, Too Swift for those who Fear, Too Long for those who Grieve, Too Short for those who Rejoice; But for those who Love, Time is not.

- Music and Other Poems, 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.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

What you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else. But what you are will be yours forever.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

Love is not getting, but giving; It is goodness, and honor, and peace and pure living.

- Henry Van Dyke

There is no conflict between the Old and the New; the conflict is between the False and the True.

- Henry Van Dyke

Heaven often seems distant and unknown, but if He who made the road... is our guide, we need not fear to lose the way.

- Henry Van Dyke

There is only one way to get ready for immortality, and that is to love this life and live it as bravely and faithfully and cheerfully as we can.

- Henry Van Dyke

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.

- Henry Van Dyke

Faith is an adventure; it is the courage of the soul to face the unknown. But that courage springs from the hope and confidence of the soul that its adventure will succeed.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

Every house where love abides And friendship is a guest, Is surely home, and home sweet home For there the heart can rest.

- Henry Van Dyke

Love that leads life upward is the noblest and the best.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

Favorite People, Favorite Places, Favorite Memories of the past ... These are the joys of a lifetime Those are the things that last

- Henry Van Dyke

Spend as much time as possible, with body and with spirit in God's out-of-doors.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

Love is the best thing in the world, and the thing that lives the longest.

- Henry Van Dyke

Gratitude is a two fold love - love coming to visit us, and love running out to greet a welcome guest.

- Henry Van Dyke

The strength of your life is measured by the strength of your will.

- Henry Van Dyke

You may have to live in a crowd, but you do not have to live like it.

- Henry Van Dyke

Tact is the unsaid part of what you think.

- Henry Van Dyke

Love is not about getting - but giving.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

Look around for a place to sow a few seeds.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

The woods would be quiet if no bird sang but the one that sang best.

- Henry Van Dyke

Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.

- Henry Van Dyke

Genius is talent set on fire by courage.

- Henry Van Dyke

Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.

- Henry Van Dyke

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very quiet if only those birds sing there that sang best.

- Henry Van Dyke

But this I know. Those who seek Him will do well to look among the poor and the lowly, the sorrowful and the oppressed.

- The Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke

There is a loftier ambition than to stand high in the world. It is to step down and lift mankind a little higher.

- Henry Van Dyke

There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.

- Henry Van Dyke

Who seeks for heaven alone to save his soul, May keep the path, but will not reach the goal; While he who walks in love may wander far, Yet God will bring him where the blessed are.

- The Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke

It is better to burn the candle at both ends, and in the middle, too, than to put it away in the closet and let the mice eat it.

- Henry Van Dyke

The first day of spring is one thing and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

- Henry Van Dyke

A friend is what the heart needs all the time.

- Henry Van Dyke

He that planteth a tree is a servant of God, he provideth a kindness for many generations, and faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.

- Henry Van Dyke

Love is the heart s immortal thirst to be completely known and all forgiven.

- Henry Van Dyke

Be glad of life because it gives you a chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.

- Henry Van Dyke

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.

- Henry Van Dyke

In mirth he mocks the other birds at noon, Catching the lilt of every easy tune; But when the day departs he sings of love,— His own wild song beneath the listening moon.

- Henry Van Dyke

What we do belongs to what we are, and what we are is what becomes of us.

- Henry Van Dyke

Self is the only prison which can contain.

- Henry Van Dyke

There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.

- Henry Van Dyke

He knew that all was well, because he had done the best that he could, from day to day. He had been true to the light that had been given to him

- The Story of the Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke

Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul.

- Henry Van Dyke

Oh It's home again, and homed again, America for me. I want a ship that's Westward bound, to plough the rolling sea.

- Henry Van Dyke

No amount of energy will take the place of thought. A strenuous life with its eyes shut is a kind of wild insanity.

- Henry Van Dyke

Time is to slow for those who wait, Too swift for those who fear, Too long for those who grieve, Too short for those who rejoice... But for those who love, Time is Eternity.

- Henry Van Dyke