Music and Other Poems

Author: Henry Van Dyke


Not to the swift, the race:
Not to the strong, the fight:
Not to the righteous, perfect grace:
Not to the wise, the light.

But often faltering feet
Come surest to the goal;
And they who walk in darkness meet
The sunrise of the soul.

A thousand times by night
The Syrian hosts have died;
A thousand times the vanquished right
Hath risen, glorified.

The truth the wise men sought
Was spoken by a child;
The alabaster box was brought
In trembling hands defiled.

Not from my torch, the gleam,
But from the stars above:
Not from my heart, life’s crystal stream,
But from the depths of Love.

October, 1903.


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Chicago: Henry Van Dyke, "Reliance," Music and Other Poems, ed. Keil, Heinrich, 1822-1894 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Music and Other Poems (New York: George E. Wood, 1850), Original Sources, accessed July 16, 2024,

MLA: Dyke, Henry Van. "Reliance." Music and Other Poems, edited by Keil, Heinrich, 1822-1894, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Music and Other Poems, New York, George E. Wood, 1850, Original Sources. 16 Jul. 2024.

Harvard: Dyke, HV, 'Reliance' in Music and Other Poems, ed. and trans. . cited in 1850, Music and Other Poems, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 16 July 2024, from