Work Poem by Henry Van Dyke

Work

Rating: 2.8


Let me but do my work from day to day,
In field or forest, at the desk or loom,
In roaring market-place or tranquil room;
Let me but find it in my heart to say,
When vagrant wishes beckon me astray,
"This is my work; my blessing, not my doom;
"Of all who live, I am the one by whom
"This work can best be done in the right way."

Then shall I see it not too great, nor small,
To suit my spirit and to prove my powers;
Then shall I cheerful greet the labouring hours,
And cheerful turn, when the long shadows fall
At eventide, to play and love and rest,
Because I know for me my work is best.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Sacilliyah YvesWalker 28 December 2014

Love this poem. Has stayed with me forever!

10 2 Reply
Neran Sati 07 October 2015

beautifull poem on the sense of human endeavour

9 1 Reply
Nora Elias-atchue 30 March 2017

My Dear Old Dad would help me with my paperwork every week and he would cheerfully recite this poem. He has been gone now for almost 7 years and I can still see his smiling face and toothy grin and hear the pleasant lilt of his voice and see him seated at the big dining room table where we would do our work. It was more a reassurance to spend time with him and he was 83 and retired and we would find comfort in his continued engagement in what he recognized as productive activity. This was his secret to a long and happy life. I thank your website for finding this poem in its entirety so that I can memorize it and be reminded of the positive effects of a productive life in the search for true happiness.

6 1 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 05 November 2020

Then shall I see it not too great, nor small, To suit my spirit and to prove my powers; Then shall I cheerful greet the labouring hours, And cheerful turn, when the long shadows fall noble ideas. tony

0 0 Reply
ppaphhh 15 August 2019

pen pinaple apple pen

1 2 Reply
Kirito 15 August 2019

it means work is good

1 1 Reply
hakim 21 December 2018

PLEASE get rid of the monotonous auto-voice! this is poetry, not voice jail... i'll record it for lyou without charge.

7 1 Reply
PoemHunter.com 15 August 2019

I'm sorry but no!

0 0 Reply
Herbert Tanenbaum 13 September 2018

My 6th grade teacher wrote the poem on the blackboard to be memorized by the class. (1938) I have referred to it many times in my career as a physician. Thank you for the reference and publication.

0 3 Reply
lily_ikun 30 October 2018

what's the meaning of this poem?

0 0 Reply
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Henry Van Dyke

Germantown, Pennsylvania
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