February 8, 1844, Bordentown, New Jersey.

November 18, 1909, New York City.

Bordentown Cemetery, Bordentown, New Jersey.


Son of Methodist minister William H. Gilder, Henry attended his father’s seminary in Flushing, New York, and later studied Greek and Hebrew under Dr. James Strong. He served as a private in the American civil war, and worked on the railroad (1864–65). He later worked for newspapers in Newark, New Jersey, and on the New York monthly magazine Hours at Home. He became associate editor of Scribner’s Monthly in 1870, and editor-in-chief in 1881. He received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from several universities. His poetical works include:


In Memoriam

Soul of a soldier in a poet’s frame,
Heart of a hero in a body frail;
Thine was the courage clear that did not quail
Before the giant champions of shame
Who wrought dishonor to the city’s name;
And thine the vision of the Holy Grail
Of Love, revealed through Music’s lucid veil,
Filling thy life with heavenly song and flame.

Pure was the light that lit thy glowing eye,
And strong the faith that held thy simple creed.
Ah, poet, patriot, friend, to serve our need
Thou leavest two great gifts that will not die:
Above the city’s noise, thy lyric cry—
Amid the city’s strife, thy noble deed.

Henry Jackson Van Dyke
November 1909

  1. God of the Strong, God of the Weak
  2. In Myriad Forms, by Myriad Names
  3. To Thee, Eternal Soul, Be Praise!
  4. Through Love to Light
  5. Beneath the Deep and Solemn Midnight Sky
  6. Each Moment Holy Is
  7. If Jesus Christ Is a Man
  8. Mountain That the Morn Doth Kiss, The
  9. No Heavenly Maid We Here Behold
  10. Not Alone in Pain and Gloom
  11. There Is Nothing New Under the Sun
  12. This Is the Earth He Walked On