Henry Van Dyke

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

America For Me - Poem by Henry Van Dyke

'Tis fine to see the Old World and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumblyh castles and the statues and kings
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things.

So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom, beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Oh, London is a man's town, there's power in the air;
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair;
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home.

I like the German fir-woods in green battalions drilled;
I like the gardens of Versailles with flashing foutains filled;
But, oh, to take your had, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her sway!

I know that Europe's wonderful, yet something seems to lack!
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free--
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.

Oh, it's home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea,
To the blessed Land of Room Enough, beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.


Comments about America For Me by Henry Van Dyke

  • (9/14/2018 9:02:00 PM)

    Remember learning this poem in one room schoolhouse in early 50s. It is heartwarming to experience all of it again. Thank you. (Report)Reply

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  • (3/23/2018 11:26:00 AM)

    Pretty daboliuos (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Fabrizio Frosini (10/7/2015 2:59:00 AM)

    '' I know that Europe's wonderful, yet something seems to lack!
    The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
    But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free-
    We love our land for what she is and what she is to be. ''
    -
    Europe and its past.. with people looking back - this is true nowadays, also.. We, Europeans, are like 'lost souls' in a hollow house.. Europe should be our 'home'.. yet, it is an unfinished building, where only one room is well furnished.. and it is rented by a bank..!
    But - unfortunately - the present and future of America, as well, is not what H. Van Dyke hoped.. Simply look at the GOP 'circus' these days.. with all those absurd characters on stage..
    A bleak future for the world, as a whole..
    (Report)Reply

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  • Kim Barney (6/10/2015 8:28:00 PM)

    This poem was in one of my junior high textbooks. I totally agree with Mr. Van Dyke's sentiments. It's great to visit other countries, but there's no place like the U.S.A. for calling home. (Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: america, paris, home, london, ocean, travel, freedom, future, woman, power, nature, hair, green, dream, people, sea, world, star, women, flower



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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