Paul Laurence Dunbar
Life’s Tragedy by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Life’s Tragedy by Paul Laurence Dunbar

It may be misery not to sing at all, And to go silent through the brimming day; It may be misery never to be loved, But deeper griefs than these beset the way.To sing the perfect ...

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Right’s Security by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Right’s Security by Paul Laurence Dunbar

WHAT if the wind do howl without,And turn the creaking weather-vane;What if the arrows of the rainDo beat against the window-pane?Art thou not armored strong and fastAgainst the ...

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The Lawyers’ Ways by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Lawyers’ Ways by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I've been list'nin' to them lawyers In the court house up the street, An' I've come to the conclusion That I'm most completely beat. Fust one feller riz to argy, An' ...

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Growin’ Gray by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Growin’ Gray by Paul Laurence Dunbar

HELLO, ole man, you're a-gittin' gray,An' it beats ole Ned to see the way'At the crow's feet's a-getherin' aroun' yore eyes;Tho' it oughtn't to cause me no su'prise,Fur there's ...

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Joggin’ Erlong by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Joggin’ Erlong by Paul Laurence Dunbar

De da'kest hour, dey allus say,Is des' befo' de dawn,But it's moughty ha'd a-waitin'W'ere de night goes frownin' on;An' it's moughty ha'd a-hopin'W'en de clouds is big an' ...

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When Dey ‘Listed Colored Soldiers by Paul Laurence Dunbar

When Dey ‘Listed Colored Soldiers by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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 ...

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Love’s Humility by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Humility by Paul Laurence Dunbar

As some rapt gazer on the lowly earth,Looks up to radiant planets, ranging far,So I, whose soul doth know thy wondrous worthLook longing up to thee as to a star.

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Li’L’ Gal by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Li’L’ Gal by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Oh, de weathah it is balmy an' de breeze is sighin' low.Li'l' gal,An' de mockin' bird is singin' in de locus' by de do',Li'l' gal;Dere 's a hummin' an' a bummin' in de lan' f'om ...

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Deacon Jones’ Grievance by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Deacon Jones’ Grievance by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I'VE been watchin' of 'em parson,An' I'm sorry fur to say'At my mind is not contentedWith the loose an' keerless way'At the young folks treat the music;'Tain't the proper sort o' ...

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Love’s Apotheosis by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Apotheosis by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love me. I care not what the circling yearsTo me may do.If, but in spite of time and tears,You prove but true.Love me--albeit grief shall dim mine eyes,And tears bedew,I shall not ...

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Keep A-Pluggin’ Away by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Keep A-Pluggin’ Away by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I'VE a humble little mottoThat is homely, though it's true, —Keep a-pluggin' away.It's a thing when I've an objectThat I always try to do, —Keep a-pluggin' away.When you've rising ...

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When De Co’N Pone’s Hot by Paul Laurence Dunbar

When De Co’N Pone’s Hot by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Dey is times in life when Nature Seems to slip a cog an' go, Jes' a-rattlin' down creation, Lak an ocean's overflow; When de worl' jes' stahts a-spinnin' Lak a ...

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Love’s Phases by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Phases by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love hath the wings of the butterfly,Oh, clasp him but gently,Pausing and dipping and fluttering byInconsequently.Stir not his poise with the breath of a sigh;Love hath the wings ...

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What’s The Use by Paul Laurence Dunbar

What’s The Use by Paul Laurence Dunbar

WHAT'S the use o' folks a-frownin'When the way's a little rough? Frowns lay out the road fur smilin'You'll be wrinkled soon enough.What's the use?What's the use o' folks ...

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Foolin’ Wid De Seasons by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Foolin’ Wid De Seasons by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Seems lak folks is mighty curusIn de way dey t'inks an' ac's.Dey jes' spen's dey days a-mixin'Up de t'ings in almanacs.Now, I min' my nex' do' neighbour,--He's a mighty likely ...

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Love’s Castle by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Castle by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Key and bar, key and bar,Iron bolt and chain!And what will you do when the King comesTo enter his domain?Turn key and lift bar,Loose, oh, bolt and chain!Open the door and let him ...

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L’Envoi by Paul Laurence Dunbar

L’Envoi by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Oh, awful Power whose works repelThe marvel of the earth's designs,--I 'll hie me otherwhere to dwell,Arcadia has trolley lines.

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When Sam’L Sings by Paul Laurence Dunbar

When Sam’L Sings by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Hyeah dat singin' in de meddersWhaih de folks is mekin' hay?Wo'k is pretty middlin' heavyFu' a man to be so gay.You kin tell dey 's somep'n specialF'om de canter o' de ...

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De Critters’ Dance by Paul Laurence Dunbar

De Critters’ Dance by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Ain't nobody nevah tol' you not a wo'd a-tall,'Bout de time dat all de critters gin dey fancy ball?Some folks tell it in a sto'y, some folks sing de rhyme,'Peahs to me you ought ...

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Dat Ol’ Mare O’ Mine by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Dat Ol’ Mare O’ Mine by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Want to trade me, do you, mistah? Oh, well, now, I reckon not,W'y you could n't buy my Sukey fu' a thousan' on de spot.Dat ol' mare o' mine?Yes, huh coat ah long an' shaggy, an' ...

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Noddin’ By De Fire by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Noddin’ By De Fire by Paul Laurence Dunbar

SOME folks t'inks hit's right an' p'opah,Soon ez bedtime come erroun',Fu' to scramble to de kiver,Lak dey'd hyeahed de trumpet soun'.But dese people day all missesWhut I mos'ly ...

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My Sort O’ Man by Paul Laurence Dunbar

My Sort O’ Man by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I don't believe in 'ristercratsAn' never did, you see;The plain ol' homelike sorter folksIs good enough fur me.O' course, I don't desire a manTo be too tarnal rough,But then, I ...

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Lover’s Lane by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Lover’s Lane by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Summah night an' sighin' breeze,'Long de lovah's lane;Frien'ly, shadder-mekin' trees,'Long de lovah's lane.White folks' wo'k all done up gran'--Me an' 'Mandy han'-in-han'Struttin' ...

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Time To Tinker ‘Roun’! by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Time To Tinker ‘Roun’! by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Summah 's nice, wif sun a-shinin',Spring is good wif greens and grass,An' dey 's some t'ings nice 'bout wintah,Dough hit brings de freezin' blas;But de time dat is de ...

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Love’s Seasons by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Seasons by Paul Laurence Dunbar

When the bees are humming in the honeysuckle vineAnd the summer days are in their bloom,Then my love is deepest, oh, dearest heart of mine,When the bees are humming in the ...

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Love’s Chastening by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Chastening by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Once Love grew bold and arrogant of air,Proud of the youth that made him fresh and fair;So unto Grief he spake, 'What right hast thouTo part or parcel of this heart?' Grief's ...

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Puttin’ The Baby Away by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Puttin’ The Baby Away by Paul Laurence Dunbar

EIGHT of 'em hyeah all tol' an' yetDese eyes o' mine is wringin' wet;My haht's a-achin' ha'd an' so',De way hit nevah ached befo';My soul's a-pleadin', 'Lawd give backDis little ...

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Dreamin’ Town by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Dreamin’ Town by Paul Laurence Dunbar

COME away to dreamin' town,Mandy Lou, Mandy Lou,Whaih de skies don' nevah frown,Mandy Lou;Whaih de streets is paved with gol',Whaih de days is nevah col',An' no sheep strays f'om ...

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Love’s Draft by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love’s Draft by Paul Laurence Dunbar

THE draft of love was cool and sweetYou gave me in the cup,But, ah, love's fire is keen and fleet,And I am burning up.Unless the tears I shed for youShall quench this burning ...

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De Way T’Ings Come by Paul Laurence Dunbar

De Way T’Ings Come by Paul Laurence Dunbar

De way t'ings come, hit seems to me,Is des' one monst'ous mystery;De way hit seem to strike a man,Dey ain't no sense, dey ain't no plan;Ef trouble sta'ts a pilin' down,It ain't no ...

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When A Feller’s Itching To Be Spanked by Paul Laurence Dunbar

When A Feller’s Itching To Be Spanked by Paul Laurence Dunbar

W'EN us fellers stomp around, makin' lots o' noise,Gramma says, 'There's certain times comes to little boysW'en they need a shingle or the soft side of a plank;'She says 'we're ...

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The Warrior’s Prayer by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Warrior’s Prayer by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Long since, in sore distress, I heard one pray,'Lord, who prevailest with resistless might,Ever from war and strife keep me away,My battles fight!'I know not if I play the ...

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The Spellin’-Bee by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Spellin’-Bee by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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' ...

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The Plantation Child’s Lullaby by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Plantation Child’s Lullaby by Paul Laurence Dunbar

WINTAH time hit comin'Stealin' thoo de night;Wake up in the mo'nin'Evah ting is white;Cabin lookin' lonesomeStannin' in de snow,Meks you kin' o' nervous,W'en de win' hit ...

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The Ol’ Tunes by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Ol’ Tunes by Paul Laurence Dunbar

YOU kin talk about yer anthemsAn' yer arias an' sich,An' yer modern choir-singin'That you think so awful rich;But you orter heerd us youngstersIn the times now far away,A-singin' ...

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Snowin’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Snowin’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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'.An' de ...

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The Fisher Child’s Lullaby by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Fisher Child’s Lullaby by Paul Laurence Dunbar

THE wind is out in its rage to-night,And your father is far at sea.The rime on the window is hard and whiteBut dear, you are near to me.Heave ho, weave low,Waves of the briny ...

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The Monk’s Walk by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Monk’s Walk by Paul Laurence Dunbar

In this sombre garden closeWhat has come and passed, who knows?What red passion, what white painHaunted this dim walk in vain?Underneath the ivied wall,Where the silent shadows ...

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To A Violet Found On All Saint’s Day by Paul Laurence Dunbar

To A Violet Found On All Saint’s Day by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Belated wanderer of the ways of spring,Lost in the chill of grim November rain,Would I could read the message that you bringAnd find in it the antidote for pain.Does some sad ...

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Speakin’ At De Cou’T-House by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Speakin’ At De Cou’T-House by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Dey been speakin' at de cou't-house,An' laws-a-massy me,'T was de beatness kin' o' doin'sDat evah I did see.Of cose I had to be dahIn de middle o' de crowd,An' I hallohed wid de ...

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Winter’s Approach by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Winter’s Approach by Paul Laurence Dunbar

DE sun hit shine an' de win' hit blow,Ol' Brer Rabbit be a-layin' low,He know dat de wintah time a-comin',De huntah man he walk an' wait,He walk right by Brer Rabbit's gate — He ...

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Twell De Night Is Pas’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Twell De Night Is Pas’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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, Ha'd, but de dreams mek it sweet. All de night long twell de break ...

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Wadin’ In De Crick by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Wadin’ In De Crick by Paul Laurence Dunbar

DAYS git wa'm and wa'mah,School gits mighty dull,Seems lak dese hyeah teachahsMus' feel mussiful.Hookey's wrong, I know itAin't no gent'man's trick;But de aih's a-callin','Come on ...

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Speakin’ O’ Christmas by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Speakin’ O’ Christmas by Paul Laurence Dunbar

BREEZES blowin' middlin' brisk,Snow-flakes thro' the air a-whisk,Fallin' kind o' soft an' light,Not enough to make things white,But jest sorter siftin' downSo's to cover up the ...

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A Golden Day by Paul Laurence Dunbar

A Golden Day by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I Found you and I lost you, All on a gleaming day. The day was filled with sunshine, And the land was full of May. A golden bird was singing Its melody divine, I found you ...

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The Debt by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Debt by Paul Laurence Dunbar

This is the debt I pay Just for one riotous day, Years of regret and grief, Sorrow without relief. Pay it I will to the end -- Until the grave, my friend, Gives me a true ...

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A Choice by Paul Laurence Dunbar

A Choice by Paul Laurence Dunbar

They please me not-- these solemn songs That hint of sermons covered up. 'T is true the world should heed its wrongs, But in a poem let me sup, Not simples brewed to cure or ease ...

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Morning by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Morning by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The mist has left the greening plain, The dew-drops shine like fairy rain, The coquette rose awakes again Her lovely self adorning.The Wind is hiding in the trees, A sighing, ...

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Ships That Pass In The Night by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Ships That Pass In The Night by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing; I look far out into the pregnant night, Where I can hear the solemn booming gun And catch the gleaming of a random light, ...

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Life’s Tragedy by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Life’s Tragedy by Paul Laurence Dunbar

It may be misery not to sing at all, And to go silent through the brimming day; It may be misery never to be loved, But deeper griefs than these beset the way.To sing the perfect ...

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