My Cart 
Login 

Previous

America for Me
by
Henry van Dyke


Next
 
'Tis fine to see the Old World and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the 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 fountains filled;
But, oh, to take your hand, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her way!
 
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.
 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Henry van Dyke (1852 - 1933) was born in Pennsylvania.  A nature lover and avid reader, he earned degrees from Princeton then served as a Presbyterian minister for more than 20 years. (He was considered one of the best preachers in New York City.) He eventually returned to Princeton, where he spent nearly 20 years as a professor of English--with a bit of service as the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg and the Netherlands in between. A writer whose talent extended to many different genres, Henry's best known works are probably the lyrics of the hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" and  the Christmas stories, "The Story of the Other Wise Man" and "The First Christmas Tree."  

 

 

 


Post New Comment:
KevinArnold:
Shades of Whitman . . . loving the promise of America, its Land of Room Enough . . .
Posted 07/23/2013 10:08 AM
CamilleBalla:
I like the spirit of this poem. It holds my dream to see Paris, while it reminds me, as it leads me, to 'the glory of the Present....' Thanks for introducing it.
Posted 07/23/2013 08:56 AM
Katrina:
Thank you, Henry. Being a Londoner, the only America I have visited was the Holiday Inn Hotel. It was adequate.
Posted 07/23/2013 08:04 AM


Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.