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Paul Laurence Dunbar


    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,
    And forgot in his bliss the light of day,
    As sipping his honey he buzzed in song;
    Though day was waning, he lingered long,
    For the rose was sweet, so sweet.

    A robin sits pluming his ruddy breast,
    And a madrigal sings to his love in her nest:
    "Oh, the skies they are blue, the fields are green,
    And the birds in your nest will soon be seen!"
    She hangs on his words with a thrill of love,
    And chirps to him as he sits above
    For the song is sweet, so sweet.

    A maiden was out on a summer's day
    With the winds and the waves and the flowers at play;
    And she met with a youth of gentle air,
    With the light of the sunshine on his hair.
    Together they wandered the flowers among;
    They loved, and loving they lingered long,
    For to love is sweet, so sweet.

This poem is in the public domain.

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was from Ohio. He wrote his first poem at the age of six, was editor of his high school newspaper, and published his first book at twenty. His writing attracted attention from the very beginning, and Paul became well-known in both America and around the world. Like James Whitcomb Riley, who was a fan of his young contemporary's work, Paul wrote many of his poems in dialect. Besides a dozen books of poetry, Paul wrote four short story collections, five novels, a play, and the first  Broadway musical ever written and performed by African-Americans. A tremendously successful poet whose work was being published in all the major literary publications of his day, Paul's life was cut tragically short by tuberculosis.


Post New Comment:
His poem "Sympathy" holds the marvelous line "I know why the caged Bird sings." I love Dunbar's work!!!
Posted 08/31/2014 11:09 AM
Thanks for introducing me to Paul's work.
Posted 08/30/2014 11:51 PM

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