Dulcis Memoria

Henry Van Dyke 1852 (Germantown, Pennsylvania) – 1933 (Princeton, New Jersey)



Long, long ago I heard a little song,
(Ah, was it long ago, or yesterday?)
So lowly, slowly wound the tune along,
That far into my heart it found the way:
A melody consoling and endearing;
And still, in silent hours, I'm often hearing
The small, sweet song that does not die away.

Long, long ago I saw a little flower,--
(Ah, was it long ago, or yesterday?)
So fair of face and fragrant for an hour,
That something dear to me it seemed to say:
A thought of joy that blossomed into being
Without a word; and now I'm often seeing
The friendly flower that does not fade away.

Long, long ago we had a little child,--
(Ah, was it long ago, or yesterday?)
Into his mother's eyes and mine he smiled
Unconscious love; warm in our arms he lay.
An angel called! Dear heart, we could not hold him;
Yet secretly your arms and mine infold him--
Our little child who does not go away.

Long, long ago? Ah, memory, make it clear--
(It was not long ago, but yesterday,)
So little and so helpless and so dear
Let not the song be lost, the flower decay!
His voice, his waking eyes, his gentle sleeping:
The smallest things are safest in thy keeping.
Sweet memory, keep our child with us always.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:10 min read
98

Quick analysis:

Scheme aBabccb dBdbccb eBebffb gbgbccx
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,156
Words 231
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 7, 7, 7, 7

Henry Van Dyke

Henry Jackson van Dyke was an American author, educator, and clergyman. more…

All Henry Van Dyke poems | Henry Van Dyke Books

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