Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems

  • 251.  
    O Mother Race! to thee I bring
    This pledge of faith unwavering, This tribute to thy glory.
  • 252.  
    Like sea-washed sand upon the shore,
    So fine and clean the tale,So clear and bright I almost see,
  • 253.  
    Thou arrant robber, Death!
    Couldst thou not findSome lesser one than he
  • 254.  
    Not to the midnight of the gloomy past,
    Do we revert to-day; we look uponThe golden present and the future vast
  • 255.  
    The sun is low,
    The waters flow,My boat is dancing to and fro.
  • 256.  
    I 's boun' to see my gal to-night-
    Oh, lone de way, my dearie!De moon ain't out, de stars ain't bright-
  • 257.  
    I sit upon the old sea wall,
    And watch the shimmering sea,Where soft and white the moonbeams fall,
  • 258.  
    Oh, I am hurt to death, my Love;
    The shafts of Fate have pierced my striving heart,And I am sick and weary of
  • 259.  
    Granny's gone a-visitin',
    Seen huh git huh shawlW'en I was a-hidin' down
  • 260.  
    Over the hills and the valleys of dreaming
    Slowly I take my way.Life is the night with its dream-visions teeming,
  • 261.  
    De breeze is blowin' ‘cross de bay.
    My lady, my lady;De ship hit teks me far away,
  • 262.  
    She wrapped her soul in a lace of lies,
    With a prime deceit to pin it;And I thought I was gaining a fearsome prize,
  • 263.  
    I been t'inkin' 'bout de preachah; whut he said de othah night,
    'Bout hit bein' people's dooty, fu' to keep dey faces bright;How one ought to live so pleasant dat ouah tempah never riles,
  • 264.  
    Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day,
    Few are my years, but my griefs are not few,Ever to youth should each day be a May-day,
  • 265.  
    A Song

  • 266.  
    Whose little lady is you, chile,
    Whose little gal is you?What's de use o' kiver'n up yo' face?
  • 267.  
    Ef dey 's anyt'ing dat riles me
    An' jes' gits me out o' hitch,Twell I want to tek my coat off,
  • 268.  
    I ‘ve journeyed ‘roun' consid'able, a-seein' men an' things,
    An' I ‘ve learned a little of the sense that meetin' people brings;But in spite of all my travelling an' of all I think I know,
  • 269.  
    The poor man went to the rich man's doors,
    “I come as Lazarus came,” he said.The rich man turned with humble head,-
  • 270.  
    Dear heart, good-night!
    Nay, list awhile that sweet voice singing When the world is all so bright,
  • 271.  
    The little bird sits in the nest and sings
    A shy, soft song to the morning light;And it flutters a little and prunes its wings.
  • 272.  
    Prometheus stole from Heaven the sacred fire
    And swept to earth with it o'er land and sea. He lit the vestal flames of poesy,
  • 273.  
    Who say my hea't ain't true to you?
    Dey bettah heish dey mouf.I knows I loves you thoo an' thoo
  • 274.  
    Eight of 'em hyeah all tol' an' yet
    Dese eyes o' mine is wringin' wet;My haht's a-achin' ha'd an' so',
  • 275.  
    The rain streams down like harp-strings from the sky;
    The wind, that world-old harpist sitteth by;And ever as he sings his low refrain,
  • 276.  
    I am no priest of crooks nor creeds,
    For human wants and human needsAre more to me than prophets' deeds;
  • 277.  
    Will I have some mo' dat pie?
    No, ma'am, thank-ee, dat is-I- Bettah quit daihin' me.
  • 278.  
    She sang, and I listened the whole song thro'.
    (It was sweet, so sweet, the singing.)The stars were out and the moon it grew
  • 279.  
    When Phyllis sighs and from her eyes
    The light dies out; my soul repliesWith misery of deep-drawn breath,
  • 280.  
    Long had I grieved at what I deemed abuse;
    But now I am as grain within the mill.If so be thou must crush me for thy use,
  • 281.  
    When you and I were young, the days
    Were filled with scent of pink and rose, And full of joy from dawn till close,
  • 282.  
    When labor is light and the morning is fair,
    I find it a pleasure beyond all compareTo hitch up my nag and go hurrying down
  • 283.  
    What if the wind do howl without,
    And turn the creaking weather-vane;What if the arrows of the rain
  • 284.  
    Why was it that the thunder voice of Fate
    Should call thee, studious, from the classic groves, Where calm-eyed Pallas with still footstep roves,
  • 285.  
    Oh, wind of the spring-time, oh, free wind of May,
    When blossoms and bird-song are rife;Oh, joy for the season, and joy for the day,
  • 286.  
    Your spoken words are roses fine and sweet,
    The songs you sing are perfect pearls of sound.How lavish nature is about your feet,
  • 287.  
    Ain't it nice to have a mammy
    W'en you kin' o' tiahed outWid a-playin' in de meddah,
  • 288.  
    She gave a rose,
    And I kissed it and pressed it.I love her, she knows,
  • 289.  
    She told her beads with down-cast eyes,
    Within the ancient chapel dim; And ever as her fingers slim
  • 290.  
    ‘T is better to sit here beside the sea,
    Here on the spray-kissed beach,In silence, that between such friends as we
  • 291.  
    Slow moves the pageant of a climbing race;
    Their footsteps drag far, far below the height, And, unprevailing by their utmost might,
  • 292.  
    Dey is snow upon de meddahs, dey is snow upon de hill,
    An' de little branch's watahs is all glistenin' an' still;De win' goes roun' de cabin lak a sperrit wan'erin' ‘roun'.
  • 293.  
    Dey 's a so't o' threatenin' feelin' in de blowin' of de breeze,
    An' I 's feelin' kin' o' squeamish in de night;I 's a-walkin' ‘roun' a-lookin' at de diffunt style o' trees,
  • 294.  
    Wintah, summah, snow er shine,
    Hit's all de same to me,Ef only I kin call you mine,
  • 295.  
    Dis is gospel weathah sho'-
    Hills is sawt o' hazy.Meddahs level ez a flo'
  • 296.  
    Emblem of blasted hope and lost desire,
    No finger ever traced thy yellow page Save Time's. Thou hast not wrought to noble rage
  • 297.  
    Dey been speakin' at de cou't-house,
    An' laws-a-massy me,‘T was de beatness kin' o' doin's
  • 298.  
    Breezes blowin' middlin' brisk,
    Snow-flakes thro' the air a-whisk,Fallin' kind o' soft an' light,
  • 299.  
    Grass commence a-comin'
    Thoo de thawin' groun',Evah bird dat whistles
  • 300.  
    A blue-bell springs upon the ledge,
    A lark sits singing in the hedge;Sweet perfumes scent the balmy air,
Total 513 poems written by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Poem of the day

The Dome Of Sunday
 by Karl Shapiro

With focus sharp as Flemish-painted face
In film of varnish brightly fixed
And through a polished hand-lens deeply seen,
Sunday at noon through hyaline thin air
Sees down the street,
And in the camera of my eye depicts
Row-houses and row-lives:
Glass after glass, door after door the same,
...

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