Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Oak and Ivy (1893)

Oak and Ivy

To Her Who has ever been My guide, Teacher, and Inspiration My Mother, This little volume is affectionately inscribed.

First published by Press of United Brethren Publishing House: Dayton, OH

Copyright 1893

Common Things

I like to hear of wealth and gold,
And El Doradoes in their glory;
I like for silks and satins bold
To sweep and rustle through a story.

The nightingale is sweet of song;
The rare exotic smells divinely;
And knightly men who stride along,
The role heroic carry finely.

But then, upon the other hand,
Our minds have got a way of running
To things that aren't quite so grand,
Which, maybe, we were best in shunning.

For some of us still like to see
The poor man in his dwelling narrow,
The hollyhock, the bumblebee,
The meadow lark, and chirping sparrow.

We like the man who soars and sings
With high and lofty inspiration;
But he who sings of common things
Shall always share our admiration.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Oak and Ivy

3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435. Phone: (937) 775-2525