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Henry Van Dyke Poems
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Hide and Seek by Henry Van Dyke
All the trees are sleeping, all the winds are still,
All the flocks of fleecy clouds have wandered past the hill;
Through the noonday silence, down the woods of June,
Hark, a little hunter's voice comes running with a tune.
"Hide and seek!
"When I speak,
"You must answer me:
"Call again,
"Merry men,
"Coo-ee, coo-ee, coo-ee!"

Now I hear his footsteps, rustling through the grass:
Hidden in my leafy nook, shall I let him pass?
Just a low, soft whistle,--quick the hunter turns,
Leaps upon me laughing, rolls me in the ferns.
"Hold him fast,
"Caught at last!
"Now you're it, you see.
"Hide your eye,
"Till I cry,
"Coo-ee, coo-ee, coo-ee!"


II

Long ago he left me, long and long ago:
Now I wander through the world and seek him high and low;
Hidden safe and happy, in some pleasant place,--
Ah, if I could hear his voice, I soon should find his face.
Far away,
Many a day,
Where can Barney be?
Answer, dear,
Don't you hear?
Coo-ee, coo-ee, coo-ee!

Birds that in the spring-time thrilled his heart with joy,
Flowers he loved to pick for me, mind me of my boy.
Surely he is waiting till my steps come nigh;
Love may hide itself awhile, but love can never die.
Heart, be glad,
The little lad
Will call some day to thee:
"Father dear,
"Heaven is here,
"Coo-ee, coo-ee, coo-ee!"
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