Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: I. About Children
The Child in the Garden
Henry van Dyke (1852–1933)
 
From The Atlantic Magazine

WHEN to the garden of untroubled thought
    I came of late, and saw the open door,
    And wished again to enter, and explore
The sweet, wild ways with stainless bloom inwrought,
And bowers of innocence with beauty fraught,        5
    It seemed some purer voice must speak before
    I dared to tread that garden loved of yore,
That Eden lost unknown and found unsought.
 
Then just within the gate I saw a child,—
    A stranger-child, yet to my heart most dear,—        10
Who held his hands to me, and softly smiled
    With eyes that knew no shade of sin or fear:
“Come in,” he said, “and play awhile with me;
I am the little child you used to be.”
 
 
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