Douglass

Ah, Douglass, we have fall'n on evil days,
Such days as thou, not even thou didst know,
When thee, the eyes of that harsh long ago
Saw, salient, at the cross of devious ways,
And all the country heard thee with amaze.
Not ended then, the passionate ebb and flow,
The awful tide that battled to and fro;
We ride amid a tempest of dispraise.

Now, when the waves of swift dissension swarm,
And Honour, the strong pilot, lieth stark,
Oh, for thy voice high-sounding o'er the storm,
For thy strong arm to guide the shivering bark,
The blast-defying power of thy form,
To give us comfort through the lonely dark.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Comments (1)

I FIND MR. DUNBAR'S POETRY VERY REFRESHING. IT COMES FROM AN ERA WHEN POETS WANTED THEIR POEMS TO BE UNDERSTOOD. SO MANY POEMS TODAY ARE FRIVILOUS WITH THE MEANINGS HIDDEN BEHIND A SHROUD OF HAVING TO KNOW THE LIFE AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE POET'S LIFE BEFORE UNDERSTANDING CAN BE DERIVED. MR. DUNBAR WANTS YOU TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HE IS FEELING. TODAYS READERS DO NOT HAVE THE TIME TO LOOK FOR DEEP HIDDEN NUANCES IN A POEM.