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

To Dr. James Newton Matthews

All round about, the clouds encompassed me;
On every side I looked, my weary sight
Was met by terrors of Plutonian night;
And chilling surges of a cruel sea
That beat against my stronghold ceaselessly,
Roared rude derision at my hapless plight;
And hope, which I had thought to hold so tight,
Slipped from my weak'ning grasp and floated free.

But when I thought to flee the unequal strife,
As wearied out I could not bear it more,
Fate gave the choicest gem of all her store,--
And noble Matthews came into my life.
He warmed my being like a virile flame,
And with his coming, light and courage came!

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Oak and Ivy

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