Paul Laurence Dunbar


Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 – 1906) was brought to my attention by my good friend Bad.

Here are a couple but there are many more on www.dunbarsite.org

The Poet

He sang of life, serenely sweet,
With, now and then, a deeper note.
From some high peak, nigh yet remote,
He voiced the world’s absorbing beat.

He sang of love when earth was young,
And Love, itself, was in his lays.
But, ah, the world, it turned to praise
A jingle in a broken tongue.

—————————————

We wear the mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

I also like Sympathy and The Seedling

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing these with us.

    The ‘mask’ is all too sad but true,
    but ‘The Seedling’ brings back hope,
    even from ‘beneath the bitter snow’ =)!

    D-

  2. Yes D, that’s what I like about The Seedling too.

  3. Thanks Ric, for pointing me in the direction of another interesting poet. I have bookmarked his website and will hopefully get a chance to read more of his poems, and get back to you with my thoughts.

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