Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems

  • 151.  
    A song for the unsung heroes who rose in the country's need,
    When the life of the land was threatened by the slaver's cruel greed,For the men who came from the cornfield, who came from the plough and
  • 152.  
    'Twas the apple that in Eden
    Caused our father's primal fall;And the Trojan War, remember-
  • 153.  
    Woman's sho' a cur'ous critter, an' dey ain't no doubtin' dat.
    She's a mess o' funny capahs f'om huh slippahs to huh hat.Ef you tries to un'erstan' huh, an' you fails, des' up an' say:
  • 154.  
    De night creep down erlong de lan',
    De shadders rise an' shake,De frog is sta'tin' up his ban',
  • 155.  
    A little dreaming by the way,
    A little toiling day by day;A little pain, a little strife,
  • 156.  
    Come, drink a stirrup cup with me,
    Before we close our rouse.You ‘re all aglow with wine, I know:
  • 157.  
    I never shall furgit that night when father hitched up Dobbin,
    An' all us youngsters clambered in an' down the road went bobbin'To school where we was kep' at work in every kind o' weather,
  • 158.  
    A little bird, with plumage brown,
    Beside my window flutters down,A moment chirps its little strain,
  • 159.  
    My soul, lost in the music's mist,
    Roamed, rapt, 'neath skies of amethyst.The cheerless streets grew summer meads,
  • 160.  
    What says the wind to the waving trees?
    What says the wave to the river?What means the sigh in the passing breeze?
  • 161.  
    I know a man
    With face of tan,But who is ever kind;
  • 162.  
    Along by the river of ruin
    They dally-the thoughtless ones,They dance and they dream
  • 163.  
    ‘T was three an' thirty year ago,
    When I was ruther young, you know,I had my last an' only fight
  • 164.  
    I have no fancy for that ancient cant
    That makes us masters of our destinies,And not our lives, to hold or give them up
  • 165.  
    Folks is talkin' 'bout de money, 'bout de silvah an' de gold;
    All de time de season 's changin' an' de days is gittin' cold.An' dey 's wond'rin' 'bout de metals, whethah we'll have one er two.
  • 166.  
    Dolly sits a-quilting by her mother, stich by stitch,
    Gracious, how my pulses throb, how my fingers itch,While I note her dainty waist and her slender hand,
  • 167.  
    By the pool that I see in my dreams, dear love,
    I have sat with you time and again;And listened beneath the dank leaves, dear love,
  • 168.  
    How's a man to write a sonnet, can you tell,-
    How's he going to weave the dim, poetic spell,- When a-toddling on the floor
  • 169.  
    He sang of life, serenely sweet,
    With, now and then, a deeper note. From some high peak, nigh yet remote,
  • 170.  
    Wintah time hit comin'
    Stealin' thoo de night;Wake up in the mo'nin'
  • 171.  
    There's a fabulous story
    Full of splendor and glory, That Arabian legends transcends;
  • 172.  
    See dis pictyah in my han'?
    Dat's my gal;Ain't she purty? goodness lan'!
  • 173.  
    One night in my room, still and beamless,
    With will and with thought in eclipse,I rested in sleep that was dreamless;
  • 174.  
    There are no beaten paths to Glory's height,
    There are no rules to compass greatness known;Each for himself must cleave a path alone,
  • 175.  
    Dey had a gread big pahty down to Tom's de othah night;
    Was I dah? You bet! I nevah in my life see sich a sight;All de folks f'om fou' plantations was invited, an' dey come,
  • 176.  
    'Tis an old deserted homestead
    On the outskirts of the town,Where the roof is all moss-covered,
  • 177.  
    In de dead of night I sometimes,
    Git to t'inkin' of de pas'An' de days w'en slavery helt me
  • 178.  
    You kin talk about yer anthems
    An' yer arias an' sich,An' yer modern choir-singin'
  • 179.  
    Whut dat you whisperin' keepin' f'om me?
    Don't shut me out ‘cause I 's ol' an' can't see.Somep'n's gone wrong dat 's a-causin' you dread,-
  • 180.  
    The smell of the sea in my nostrils,
    The sound of the sea in mine ears;The touch of the spray on my burning face,
  • 181.  
    Say a mass for my soul's repose, my brother,
    Say a mass for my soul's repose, I need it,Lovingly lived we, the sons of one mother,
  • 182.  
    In this sombre garden close
    What has come and passed, who knows?What red passion, what white pain
  • 183.  
    Out in de night a sad bird moans,
    An', oh, but hit 's moughty lonely;Times I kin sing, but mos' I groans,
  • 184.  
    Though the winds be dank,
    And the sky be sober, And the grieving Day
  • 185.  
    Oh, who is the Lord of the land of life,
    When hotly goes the fray?When, fierce we smile in the midst of strife
  • 186.  
    An old, worn harp that had been played
    Till all its strings were loose and frayed,Joy, Hate, and Fear, each one essayed,
  • 187.  
    A lover whom duty called over the wave,
    With himself communed: “Will my love be true If left to herself? Had I better not sue
  • 188.  
    Dinah stan' befo' de glass,
    Lookin' moughty neat,An' huh purty shadder sass
  • 189.  
    Sweetest of the flowers a-blooming
    In the fragrant vernal daysIs the Lily of the Valley
  • 190.  
    This poem must be done to-day;
    Then, I ‘ll e'en to it.I must not dream my time away,-
  • 191.  
    Our good knight, Ted, girds his broadsword on
    (And he wields it well, I ween);He 's on his steed, and away has gone
  • 192.  
    Aye, lay him in his grave, the old dead year!
    His life is lived-fulfilled his destiny.Have you for him no sad, regretful tear
  • 193.  
    In the heavy earth the miner
    Toiled and laboured day by day,Wrenching from the miser mountain
  • 194.  
    Within a London garret high,
    Above the roofs and near the sky,My ill-rewarding pen I ply
  • 195.  
    All hot and grimy from the road,
    Dust gray from arduous years,I sat me down and eased my load
  • 196.  
    Good hunting!-aye, good hunting,
    Wherever the forests call;But ever a heart beats hot with fear,
  • 197.  
    The wind is out in its rage to-night,
    And your father is far at sea.The rime on the window is hard and white
  • 198.  
    Oh, the little bird is rocking in the cradle of the wind,
    And it's bye, my little wee one, bye;The harvest all is gathered and the pippins all are binned;
  • 199.  
    Ah, yes, the chapter ends to-day;
    We even lay the book away;But oh, how sweet the moments sped
  • 200.  
    Temples he built and palaces of air,
    And, with the artist's parent-pride aglow, His fancy saw his vague ideals grow
Total 522 poems written by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Macdougal Street
 by Edna St. Vincent Millay

As I went walking up and down to take the evening air,
(Sweet to meet upon the street, why must I be so shy?)
I saw him lay his hand upon her torn black hair;
(”Little dirty Latin child, let the lady by!”)

The women squatting on the stoops were slovenly and fat,
(Lay me out in organdie, lay me out in lawn!)
And everywhere I stepped there was a baby or a cat;
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