The Human’s Higher Right

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Paul Lawrence Dunbar

If

by Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872 – 1906)

If life were but a dream, my Love,
And death the waking time;
If day had not a beam, my Love,
And night had not a rhyme,—

A barren, barren world were this

Without one saving gleam;
I ‘d only ask that with a kiss
You ‘d wake me from the dream.
If dreaming were the sum of days,
And loving were the bane;
If battling for a wreath of bays
Could soothe a heart in pain,—

I ‘d scorn the meed of battle’s might,
All other aims above
I ‘d choose the human’s higher right,
To suffer and to love!


Slow Through The Dark

By Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Slow moves the pageant of a climbing race;
Their footsteps drag far, far below the height,
And, unprevailing by their utmost might,
Seem faltering downward from each hard won place.
No strange, swift-sprung exception we; we trace
A devious way thro’ dim, uncertain light,–
Our hope, through the long vistaed years, a sight
Of that our Captain’s soul sees face to face.
Who, faithless, faltering that the road is steep,
Now raiseth up his drear insistent cry?
Who stoppeth here to spend a while in sleep
Or curseth that the storm obscures the sky?
Heed not the darkness round you, dull and deep;
The clouds grow thickest when the summit’s nigh.

 

 

Published by

A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I am pleased to offer Fourteenlines as an ad and cookie free poetry resource, to allow the poetry to be presented on its own, unaccompanied by the commercial distractions that permeate the internet experience. Fourteenlines is intended as a testament to the power of the written word, solely for the benefit of anyone wanting a little more poetry in their life.

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