Henry van Dyke (1852 – 1933) was an American author, educator, and clergyman. He graduated from Princeton University, 1873, and from Princeton Theological Seminary, 1874 and served as a professor of English literature at Princeton between 1899 and 1923. In 1908-09 Dr. Van Dyke was American lecturer at the University of Paris. By appointment of President Wilson he became Minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1913. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received many other honors. His son is Tertius van Dyke.
He chaired the committee that wrote the first Presbyterian printed liturgy, The Book of Common Worship of 1906. Among his popular writings is the Christmas story The Other Wise Man (1896). Various religious themes of his work are also expressed in his poetry, hymns and the essays collected in Little Rivers (1895) and Fisherman’s Luck (1899). He compiled several short stories in The Blue Flower named after a story by Novalis in 1902. He also contributed a chapter to the collaborative novel, The Whole Family (1908).
Some of Van Dyke's poems include:
Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side
spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and
starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty
and strength. I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where
the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in
mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and
she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the
moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"
And that is dying.