To A Young Girl Singing

by Henry van Dyke

Henry van Dyke

Oh, what do you know of the song, my dear,
And how have you made it your own?
You have caught the turn of the melody clear,
And you give it again with a golden tone,
Till the wonder-word and the wedded note
Are flowing out of your beautiful throat
With a liquid charm for every ear:
And they talk of your art,-but for you alone
The song is a thing, unheard, unknown;
You only have learned it by rote.
But when you have lived for awhile, my dear,
I think you will learn it anew!
For a joy will come, or a grief, or a fear,
That will alter the look of the world for you;
And the lyric you learned as a bit of art,
Will wake to life as a wonderful part
Of the love you feel so deep and true;
And the thrill of a laugh or the throb of a tear,
Will come with your song to all who hear;
For then you will know it by heart.

Last updated January 14, 2019