Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896)

Lyrics of Lowly Life

With an introduction by W.D. Howells

First published by Dodd, Mead and Company

Copyright 1895 and 1896

The Poet and His Song

A song is but a little thing,
And yet what joy it is to sing.
In hours of toil it gives me zest,
And when at eve I long for rest;
When cows come home along the bars,
And in the fold I hear the bell,
As Night, the shepherd, herds his stars,
I sing my song and all is well.

There are no ears to hear my lays,
No lips to lift a word of praise;
But still with faith unfaltering,
I live and laugh and love and sing.
What matters yon unheeding throng?
They cannot feel my spirit's spell,
Since life is sweet and love is long,
I sing my song and all is well.

My days are never days of ease,
I till my ground and prune my trees.
When ripened gold is all the plain,
I put my sickle to the grain.
I labor hard and toil and sweat,
While others dream within the dell;
But even while my brow is wet,
I sing my song and all is well.

Sometimes the sun, unkindly hot,
My garden makes a desert spot.
Sometimes a blight upon the tree
Takes all my fruit away from me;
And then with throes of bitter pain
Rebellious passions rise and swell;
But--life is more than fruit or grain,
And so I sing, and all is well.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Lyrics of Lowly Life, Majors and Minors

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