Henry Van Dyke

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

Dulcis Memoria


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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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