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Paul Laurence Dunbar Short Poems

Famous Short Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems. Short poetry by famous poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. A collection of the all-time best Paul Laurence Dunbar short poems


by Paul Laurence Dunbar
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 confessed disease,
But the spirit-wine of a singing line,
[Pg 127]Or a dew-drop in a honey cup!



by Paul Laurence Dunbar
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 wounded feet and God.
Where healing waters flow
Do thou my footsteps lead.
My heart is aching so;
Thy gracious balm I need.

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 and I loved you, And all the world was mine.
I found you and I lost you, All on a golden day, But when I dream of you, dear, It is always brimming May.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 "No, the serpent did not
Seduce Eve to the apple.
All that's simply Corruption of the facts.
Adam ate the apple.
Eve ate Adam.
The serpent ate Eve.
This is the dark intestine.
The serpent, meanwhile, Sleeps his meal off in Paradise - Smiling to hear God's querulous calling.
"

RETORT  Create an image from this poem
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
"Thou art a fool," said my head to my heart,
"Indeed, the greatest of fools thou art,
To be led astray by the trick of a tress,
By a smiling face or a ribbon smart;"
And my heart was in sore distress.
Then Phyllis came by, and her face was fair,
The light gleamed soft on her raven hair;
And her lips were blooming a rosy red.
Then my heart spoke out with a right bold air:
"Thou art worse than a fool, O head!"

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 Humanity's confessed disease, But the spirit-wine of a singing line, Or a dew-drop in a honey cup!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 He was a poet who wrote clever verses, 
And folks said he had a fine poetical taste; 
But his father, a practical farmer, accused him 
Of letting the strength of his arm go to waste.
He called on his sweetheart each Saturday evening, As pretty a maiden as ever man faced, And there he confirmed the old man's accusation By letting the strength of his arm go to waist.



by Paul Laurence Dunbar
A cloud fell down from the heavens,
And broke on the mountain's brow;
It scattered the dusky fragments
All over the vale below.
The moon and the stars were anxious
To know what its fate might be;
So they rushed to the azure op'ning,
And all peered down to see.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
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,
Grind on, O potent God, and do thy will!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 'Twas the apple that in Eden 
Caused our father's primal fall; 
And the Trojan War, remember -- 
'Twas an apple caused it all.
So for weeks I've hesitated, You can guess the reason why, For I want to tell my darling She's the apple of my eye.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 There is a heaven, for ever, day by day, 
The upward longing of my soul doth tell me so.
There is a hell, I'm quite as sure; for pray If there were not, where would my neighbours go?

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 Because you love me I have much achieved, 
Had you despised me then I must have failed, 
But since I knew you trusted and believed, 
I could not disappoint you and so prevailed.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
I found you and I lost you,
All on a gleaming day.
The day was rilled with sunshine,
And the land was full of May.
A golden bird was singing
Its melody divine,
I found you and I loved you,
And all the world was mine.
I found you and I lost you,
All on a golden day,
But when I dream of you, dear,
It is always brimming May.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Because I had loved so deeply,
Because I had loved so long,
God in His great compassion
Gave me the gift of song.
Because I have loved so vainly,
And sung with such faltering breath,
The Master in infinite mercy
Offers the boon of Death.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 The Oriole sings in the greening grove 
As if he were half-way waiting, 
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green, 
Timid, and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep And the nights smell warm and pinety, The garden thrives, but the tender shoots Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill, Streams laugh that erst were quiet, The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue And the woods run mad with riot.

DAWN  Create an image from this poem
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
An angel, robed in spotless white,
Bent down and kissed the sleeping Night.
Night woke to blush; the sprite was gone.
Men saw the blush and called it Dawn.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 A lilt and a swing, 
And a ditty to sing,
Or ever the night grow old;
The wine is within,
And I'm sure t'were a sin
For a soldier to choose to be cold, my dear,
For a soldier to choose to be cold.
We're right for a spell, But the fever is -- well, No thing to be braved, at least; So bring me the wine; No low fever in mine, For a drink more kind than a priest, my dear, For a drink is more kind than a priest.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
It is as if a silver chord
Were suddenly grown mute,
And life's song with its rhythm warred
Against a silver lute.
It is as if a silence fell
Where bides the garnered sheaf,
And voices murmuring, "It is well,"
Are stifled by our grief.
It is as if the gloom of night
Had hid a summer's day,
And willows, sighing at their plight,
Bent low beside the way.
For he was part of all the best
That Nature loves and gives,
And ever more on Memory's breast
He lies and laughs and lives.

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 worth
Look longing up to thee as to a star.

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 release -- Gives me the clasp of peace.
Slight was the thing I bought, Small was the debt I thought, Poor was the loan at best -- God! but the interest!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
The night is dewy as a maiden's mouth,
The skies are bright as are a maiden's eyes,
Soft as a maiden's breath the wind that flies
Up from the perfumed bosom of the South.
Like sentinels, the pines stand in the park;
And hither hastening, like rakes that roam,
With lamps to light their wayward footsteps home,
The fireflies come stagg'ring down the dark.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
 DO' a-stan'in' on a jar, fiah a-shinin'
thoo,
Ol' folks drowsin' 'roun' de place, 
wide awake is Lou,
W'en I tap, she answah, an' I see
huh 'mence to grin,
"Howdy, honey, howdy, won't you 
step right in?"

LIFE  Create an image from this poem
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in,
A minute to smile and an hour to weep in,
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble,
And never a laugh but the moans come double;
And that is life!
A crust and a corner that love makes precious,
With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us;
And joy seems sweeter when cares come after,
And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter;
And that is life!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Search thou my heart;
If there be guile,
It shall depart
Before thy smile.
Search thou my soul;
Be there deceit,
'T will vanish whole
Before thee, sweet.
Upon my mind
Turn thy pure lens;
Naught shalt thou find
Thou canst not cleanse.
If I should pray,
I scarcely know
In just what way
My prayers would go.
So strong in me
I feel love's leaven,
I 'd bow to thee
[Pg 117]As soon as Heaven!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Villain shows his indiscretion,
Villain's partner makes confession.
Juvenile, with golden tresses,
Finds her pa and dons long dresses.
Scapegrace comes home money-laden,
Hero comforts tearful maiden,
Soubrette marries loyal chappie,
Villain skips, and all are happy.