Lyrics Of Love And Sorrow

Poem By Paul Laurence Dunbar

I

Love is the light of the world, my dear,
Heigho, but the world is gloomy;
The light has failed and the lamp down hurled,
Leaves only darkness to me.

Love is the light of the world, my dear,
Ah me, but the world is dreary;
The night is down, and my curtain furled
But I cannot sleep, though weary.

Love is the light of the world, my dear,
Alas for a hopeless hoping,
When the flame went out in the breeze that swirled,
And a soul went blindly groping.


II

The light was on the golden sands,
A glimmer on the sea;
My soul spoke clearly to thy soul,
Thy spirit answered me.

Since then the light that gilds the sands,
And glimmers on the sea,
But vainly struggles to reflect
The radiant soul of thee.


III

The sea speaks to me of you
All the day long;
Still as I sit by its side
You are its song.

The sea sings to me of you
Loud on the reef;
Always it moans as it sings,
Voicing my grief.


IV

My dear love died last night;
Shall I clothe her in white?
My passionate love is dead,
Shall I robe her in red?
But nay, she was all untrue,
She shall not go drest in blue;
Still my desolate love was brave,
Unrobed let her go to her grave.


V

There are brilliant heights of sorrow
That only the few may know;
And the lesser woes of the world, like waves,
Break noiselessly, far below.
I hold for my own possessing,
A mount that is lone and still--
The great high place of a hopeless grief,
And I call it my 'Heart-break Hill.'
And once on a winter's midnight
I found its highest crown,
And there in the gloom, my soul and I,
Weeping, we sat us down.

But now when I seek that summit
We are two ghosts that go;
Only two shades of a thing that died,
Once in the long ago.
So I sit me down in the silence,
And say to my soul, 'Be still,'
So the world may not know we died that night,
From weeping on 'Heart-break Hill.'

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Other poems of DUNBAR

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,

A Golden Day

I Found you and I lost you,
All on a gleaming day.
The day was filled with sunshine,
And the land was full of May.

Life's Tragedy

It may be misery not to sing at all,
And to go silent through the brimming day;
It may be misery never to be loved,
But deeper griefs than these beset the way.

Sympathy

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;

Morning

The mist has left the greening plain,
The dew-drops shine like fairy rain,
The coquette rose awakes again
Her lovely self adorning.

Summer In The South

The Oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid, and hesitating.