Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems

  • 101.  
    I has hyeahd o' people dancin' an' I 's hyeahd o' people singin'.
    An' I 's been ‘roun' lots of othahs dat could keep de banjo ringin';But of all de whistlin' da'kies dat have lived an' died since Ham,
  • 102.  
    Slow de night 's a-fallin',
    An' I hyeah de callin, Out erpon de lonesome hill;
  • 103.  
    When winter covering all the ground
    Hides every sign of Spring, sir.However you may look around,
  • 104.  
    In the forenoon's restful quiet,
    When the boys are off at school,When the window lights are shaded
  • 105.  
    Hyeah dat singin' in de medders
    Whaih de folks is mekin' hay?Wo'k is pretty middlin' heavy
  • 106.  
    G'way an' quit dat noise, Miss Lucy-
    Put dat music book away;What's de use to keep on tryin'?
  • 107.  
    Dey was talkin' in de cabin, dey was talkin' in de hall;
    But I listened kin' o' keerless, not a-t'inkin' 'bout it all;An' on Sunday, too, I noticed, dey was whisp'rin' mighty much,
  • 108.  
    When all is done, and my last word is said,
    And ye who loved me murmur, “He is dead,”Let no one weep, for fear that I should know,
  • 109.  
    W'en us fellers stomp around, makin' lots o' noise,
    Gramma says, “There's certain times come to little boysW'en they need a shingle or the soft side of a plank;”
  • 110.  
    What's the use o' folks a-frownin'
    When the way's a little rough?Frowns lay out the road fur smilin'
  • 111.  
    It's moughty tiahsome layin' ‘roun'
    Dis sorrer-laden earfly groun',An' oftentimes I thinks, thinks I,
  • 112.  
    You ask why I am sad to-day,
    I have no cares, no griefs, you say?Ah, yes, ‘t is true, I have no grief-
  • 113.  
    The sun has slipped his tether
    And galloped down the west.(Oh, it's weary, weary waiting, love.)
  • 114.  
    Days git wa'm an' wa'mah,
    School gits mighty dull,Seems lak dese hyeah teachahs
  • 115.  
    When I was young I longed for Love,
    And held his glory far aboveAll other earthly things. I cried:
  • 116.  
    Long time ago, we two set out,
    My soul and I. I know not why,
  • 117.  
    Deep in my heart that aches with the repression,
    And strives with plenitude of bitter pain,There lives a thought that clamors for expression,
  • 118.  
    A bee that was searching for sweets one day
    Through the gate of a rose garden happened to stray.In the heart of a rose he hid away,
  • 119.  
    Two little boots all rough an' wo',
    Two little boots!Law, I 's kissed 'em times befo',
  • 120.  
    ‘Twixt a smile and a tear,
    ‘Twixt a song and a sigh,‘Twixt the day and the dark,
  • 121.  
    All de night long twell de moon goes down,
    Lovin' I set at huh feet,Den fu' de long jou'ney back f'om de town,
  • 122.  
    Dey was oncet a awful quoil ‘twixt de skillet an' de pot;
    De pot was des a-bilin' an' de skillet sho' was hot.Dey slurred each othah's colah an' dey called each othah names,
  • 123.  
    Heart of the Southland, heed me pleading now,
    Who bearest, unashamed, upon my browThe long kiss of the loving tropic sun,
  • 124.  
    Cool is the wind, for the summer is waning,
    Who 's for the road?Sun-flecked and soft, where the dead leaves are raining,
  • 125.  
    Kiss me, Miami, thou most constant one!
    I love thee more for that thou changest not.When Winter comes with frigid blast,
  • 126.  
    God has his plans, and what if we
    With our sight be too blind to seeTheir full fruition; cannot he,
  • 127.  
    I 's feelin' kin' o' lonesome in my little room to-night,
    An' my min 's done los' de minutes an' de miles,Wile it teks me back a-flyin' to de country of delight,
  • 128.  
    (Lines on reading “Driftwood.”)

  • 129.  
    Oh, the poets may sing of their Lady Irenes,
    And may rave in their rhymes about wonderful queens;But I throw my poetical wings to the breeze,
  • 130.  
    What are the things that make life bright?
    A star gleam in the night.What hearts us for the coming fray?
  • 131.  
    Your presence like a benison to me
    Wakes my sick soul to dreamful ecstasy,I fancy that some old Arabian night
  • 132.  
    To me, like hauntings of a vagrant breath
    From some far forest which I once have known, The perfume of this flower of verse is blown.
  • 133.  
    Step me now a bridal measure,
    Work give way to love and leisure,Hearts be free and hearts be gay-
  • 134.  
    This is to-day, a golden summer's day
    And yet-and yet My vengeful soul will not forget
  • 135.  
    Belated wanderer of the ways of spring,
    Lost in the chill of grim November rain,Would I could read the message that you bring
  • 136.  
    Thy tones are silver melted into sound,
    And as I dreamI see no walls around,
  • 137.  
    It is as if a silver chord
    Were suddenly grown mute,And life's song with its rhythm warred
  • 138.  
    Dear critic, who my lightness so deplores,
    Would I might study to be prince of bores,Right wisely would I rule that dull estate-
  • 139.  
    Summah 's nice, wif sun a-shinin',
    Spring is good wif greens and grass,An' dey 's some t'ings nice 'bout wintah,
  • 140.  
    Oh the breeze is blowin' balmy
    An the sun is in a haze;There's a cloud jest givin' coolness
  • 141.  
    Thou art my lute, by thee I sing,-
    My being is attuned to thee.Thou settest all my words a-wing,
  • 142.  
    THEN

  • 143.  
    Ah me, it is cold and chill
    And the fire sobs low in the grate,While the wind rides by on the hill,
  • 144.  
    A youth went faring up and down,
    Alack and well-a-day.He fared him to the market town,
  • 145.  
    I stood by the shore at the death of day,
    As the sun sank flaming red;And the face of the waters that spread away
  • 146.  
    Long since, in sore distress, I heard one pray,
    “Lord, who prevailest with resistless might,Ever from war and strife keep me away,
  • 147.  
    In a small and lonely cabin out of noisy traffic's way,
    Sat an old man, bent and feeble, dusk of face, and hair of gray,And beside him on the table, battered, old, and worn as he,
  • 148.  
    Little lady at de do',
    W'y you stan' dey knockin'?Nevah seen you ac' befo'
  • 149.  
    Underneath the autumn sky,
    Haltingly, the lines go by.Ah, would steps were blithe and gay,
  • 150.  
    When to sweet music my lady is dancing
    My heart to mild frenzy her beauty inspires.Into my face are her brown eyes a-glancing,
Total 522 poems written by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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He speaks as straight as his rifles shot,
As straight as a thrusting blade,
Waiting the deed that shall trouble the truce
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