The Best Henry Van Dyke Quotes

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Henry van Dyke was born on November 10, 1852. He graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1873 and then graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1877. He served the communities in Rhode Island and New York as a pastor for many years. And then in 1900 he became a professor of English at Princeton University in 1900.
Van Dyke was the author of The Red Flower: Poems Written in War Time  as well as numerous books of sermons, essays, and fiction. You can find all of his best works here. He died in Princeton, New Jersey, on April 10, 1933.

The Best Henry Van Dyke Quotes

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.”
Henry Van Dyke

“The woods would be quiet if no bird sang but the one that sang best.”
Henry van Dyke

“The first day of spring is one thing and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”
Henry Van Dyke

“There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.”
Henry van Dyke

“Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.”
Henry van Dyke

“The shadow by my finger cast
Divides the future from the past:
Before it, sleeps the unborn hour,
In darkness, and beyond thy power.
Behind its unreturning line,
The vanished hour, no longer thine:
One hour alone is in thy hands,-
The NOW on which the shadow stands.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very quiet if only those birds sing there that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke

“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 where?” 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 the load of living freight to her destined port. 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.”

Henry Van Dyke

“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.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Genius is talent set on fire by courage.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Who seeks for heaven alone to save his soul,
May keep the path, but will not reach the goal;
While he who walks in love may wander far,
Yet God will bring him where the blessed are.”

Henry Van Dyke, The Other Wise Man

“It is better to burn the candle at both ends, and in the middle, too, than to put it away in the closet and let the mice eat it.”

Henry Van Dyke

“There is a loftier ambition than to stand high in the world. It is to step down and lift mankind a little higher.”

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 hand, 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.”
Henry Van Dyke

“But this I know. Those who seek Him will do well to look among the poor and the lowly, the sorrowful and the oppressed.”
Henry Van Dyke, The Other Wise Man

“Be glαd of life, becαuse it gives you the chαnce to love αnd to work αnd to plαy αnd to look up αt the stαrs; to be sαtisfied with your posessions, to despise nothing in the world except fαlsehood αnd meαnness αnd to feαr nothing except cowαrdice; to be governed by your αdmirαtions rαther thαn by your disgusts, to covet nothing thαt is your neighbour’s except his kindness of heαrt αnd gentleness of mαnners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends and to spend αs much time αs you cαn with body αnd with spirit.”
Henry Van Dyke

“He that planteth a tree is a servant of God, he provideth a kindness for many generations, and faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Love is the heart s immortal thirst to be completely known and all forgiven.”
Henry Van Dyke

“A friend is what the heart needs all the time.”
Henry Van Dyke

“ Be glad of life because it gives you a chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars. ”
Henry VanDyke

“Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul.”
Henry Van Dyke

“So let the way wind up the hill or down,
O’er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy;
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy,
New friendship, high adventure, and a crown.
My heart will keep the courage of the quest,
And hope the road’s last turn will be the best.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Never believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it to be true; never tell even that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary – and remember that God is listening while you tell it.”
Henry Van Dyke

“He knew that all was well, because he had done the best that he could, from day to day. He had been true to the light that had been given to him. He had looked for more. And if he had not found it, if a failure was all that came out of his life, doubtless that was the best that was possible. He had not seen the revelation of “life everlasting, incorruptible and immortal.” But he knew that even if he could live his earthly life over again, it could not be otherwise than it had been.”

Henry van Dyke, The Story of the Other Wise Man

“Let me but live my life from year to year,
With forward face and unreluctant soul,
Not hastening to, nor turning from the goal;
Nor mourning things that disappear
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear
From what the future veils; but with a whole
And happy heart, that pays its toll
To youth and age, and travels on with cheer.
So let the way wind up the hill or down,
Through rough or smooth, the journey will be joy,
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy —
New friendship, high adventure, and a crown,
I shall grow old, but never lose life’s zest,
Because the road’s last turn will be the best.”

Henry Van Dyke, The Poems of Henry Van Dyke

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”

Henry Van Dyke

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.”
Henry Van Dyke

“A friend is what the heart needs all the time.”
Henry Van Dyke

Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.
Henry Van Dyke

Love is the best thing in the world, and the thing that lives the longest.
Henry Van Dyke

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
Henry Van Dyke

“There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.”
Henry Van Dyke

“What you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else. But what you are will be yours forever.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Genius is talent set on fire by courage.”
Henry Van Dyke

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”
Henry Van Dyke

“There are two good rules which ought to be written on every heart – never to believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it to be true; never to tell even that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary, and that God is listening.”
Henry Van Dyke

“As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge.”
Henry Van Dyke

“There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.”
Henry Van Dyke

“There is only one way to get ready for immortality, and that is to love this life and live it as bravely and faithfully and cheerfully as we can.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Look around for a place to sow a few seeds.”
Henry Van Dyke

“What we do belongs to what we are; and what we are is what becomes of us.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Many a treasure besides Ali Baba’s is unlocked with a verbal key.”
Henry Van Dyke

“To desire and strive to be of some service to the world, to aim at doing something which shall really increase the happiness and welfare and virtue of mankind – this is a choice which is possible for all of us; and surely it is a good haven to sail for.”
Henry Van Dyke

“In the progress of personality, first comes a declaration of independence, then a recognition of interdependence.”
Henry Van Dyke

“It is with rivers as it is with people: the greatest are not always the most agreeable nor the best to live with.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Half of the secular unrest and dismal, profane sadness of modern society comes from the vain ideas that every man is bound to be a critic for life.”
Henry Van Dyke

Summary

Henry Van Dyke has a very unusual life history – not many ministers go on to become famous professors. Van Dyke was a prolific author with at least 12 books that were written over a 46 year time line.

Also it should be noted that in 1913, President Wilson appointed Van Dyke to be the ambassador to the Netherlands and Luxembourg and he served in that capacity until 1917. Again very unusual that he was a foreign diplomat in addition to his experience as a minister, author and professor.

Image Credit: Harris & Ewing, photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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