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Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems

A collection of select Paul Laurence Dunbar famous poems that were written by Paul Laurence Dunbar or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad...Read More



by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
 You know how it is waking
from a dream certain you can fly
and that someone, long gone, returned

and you are filled with longing,
for a brief moment, to drive off
the road...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
 A hush is over all the teeming lists,
And there is pause, a breath-space in the strife;
A spirit brave has passed beyond the mists
And vapors that obscure the sun of...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
They please me not—these solemn songs
That hint of sermons covered up.
'Tis true the world should heed its wrongs,
But in a poem let me sup,
Not simples brewed to cure or ease
Humanity's...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
 Therefore I dare reveal my private woe, 
The secret blots of my imperfect heart, 
Nor strive to shrink or swell mine own desert, 
Nor beautify nor hide. For this...Read More



by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
Done are the toils and the wearisome marches,
Done is the summons of bugle and drum.
Softly and sweetly the sky over-arches,
Shelt'ring a land where Rebellion is dumb.
Dark were the days of...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
These are the days of elfs and fays:
Who says that with the dreams of myth,
These imps and elves disport themselves?
Ah no, along the paths of song
Do all the tiny folk...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
Mammy's in de kitchen, an' de do' is shet;
All de pickaninnies climb an' tug an' sweat,[Pg 242]
Gittin' to de winder, stickin' dah lak flies,
Evah one ermong us des...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
O Lord, the hard-won miles
Have worn my stumbling feet:
Oh, soothe me with thy smiles,
And make my life complete.
The thorns were thick and keen
Where'er I trembling trod;
The way was long between
My...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
 I am the mother of sorrows, 
I am the ender of grief; 
I am the bud and the blossom, 
I am the late-falling leaf.

I am thy priest and thy...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
 Pray why are you so bare, so bare, 
Oh, bough of the old oak-tree;
And why, when I go through the shade you throw,
Runs a shudder over me?
My leaves were...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
 It's all a farce,—these tales they tell 
 About the breezes sighing, 
And moans astir o'er field and dell, 
 Because the year is dying. 

Such principles are most...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
My muvver's ist the nicest one
'At ever lived wiz folks;
She lets you have ze mostes' fun,
An' laffs at all your jokes.
I got a ol' maid auntie, too,
The worst you ever...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
Yesterday I held your hand,
Reverently I pressed it,
And its gentle yieldingness
From my soul I blessed it.
But to-day I sit alone,
Sad and sore repining;
Must our gold forever know
Flames for the refining?
Yesterday...Read More

by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
O Mother Race! to thee I bring
This pledge of faith unwavering,
This tribute to thy glory.
I know the pangs which thou didst feel,
When Slavery crushed thee with its heel,
With thy dear...Read More