Henry Van Dyke

(10 November 1852 – 10 April 1933 / Germantown, Pennsylvania)

A Child in the Garden Poem by Henry Van Dyke


When to the garden of untroubled thought
I came of late, and saw the open door,
And wished again to enter, and explore
The sweet, wild ways with stainless bloom inwrought,
And bowers of innocence with beauty fraught,
It seemed some purer voice must speak before
I dared to tread that garden loved of yore,
That Eden lost unknown and found unsought.

Then just within the gate I saw a child, --
A stranger-child, yet to my heart most dear;
He held his hands to me, and softly smiled
With eyes that knew no shade of sin or fear:
"Come in," he said, "and play awhile with me;"
"I am the little child you used to be."

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (A Child in the Garden by Henry Van Dyke )

  • Rookie Valerie Sonnino (5/21/2006 5:31:00 PM)

    This is a lovely poem. I think that my mother must have read it as a young girl. It is old fashioned and yet the concept is one that many people can relate to. Don't all of us think back to our childhoods and remember things in a rosy light? (Report) Reply

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