Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Quotations

  • ''Lay me down beneaf de willers in de grass,
    Whah de branch'll go a-singin' as it pass.''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. A Death Song (l. 1-2). . . Poetry of the Negro, The, 1746-1970. Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, eds. (Rev. ed., 1970) Doubleday & Company.
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  • ''Fu' I t'ink de las' long res'
    Gwine to soothe my sperrit bes'
    If I's layin' 'mong de t'ings I's allus knowed.''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. A Death Song (l. 13-15). . . Poetry of the Negro, The, 1746-1970. Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, eds. (Rev. ed., 1970) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''An angel, robed in spotless white,
    Bent down and kissed the sleeping Night.
    Night woke to blush; the sprite was gone.
    Men saw the blush and called it Dawn.''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Dawn (l. 1-4). . . American Negro Poetry. Arna Bontemps, ed. (Rev. ed., 1974) Hill and Wang.
  • ''And catch the gleaming of a random light,
    That tells me that the ship I seek is passing, passing.''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Ships That Pass in the Night (l. 4-5). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) Avenel Books.
  • ''Is there no hope for me? Is there no way
    That I may sight and check that speeding bark
    Which out of sight and sound is passing, passing?''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Ships That Pass in the Night (l. 13-15). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) Avenel Books.
  • ''Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing;
    I look far out into the pregnant night,''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Ships That Pass in the Night (l. 1-2). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) Avenel Books.
  • ''It is not a carol of joy or glee,
    But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
    But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
    I know why the caged bird sings!''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Sympathy (l. 18-21). . . Poetry of the Negro, The, 1746-1970. Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, eds. (Rev. ed., 1970) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''I know what the caged bird feels, alas!''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Sympathy (l. l). . . Poetry of the Negro, The, 1746-1970. Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, eds. (Rev. ed., 1970) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''This is the debt I pay
    Just for one riotous day,''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. The Debt (l. 1-2). . . American Negro Poetry. Arna Bontemps, ed. (Rev. ed., 1974) Hill and Wang.
  • ''Slight was the thing I bought,
    Small was the debt I thought,
    Poor was the loan at best—
    God! but the interest!''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. The Debt (l. 9-12). . . American Negro Poetry. Arna Bontemps, ed. (Rev. ed., 1974) Hill and Wang.

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Accountability

FOLKS ain't got no right to censuah othah folks about dey habits;
Him dat giv' de squir'ls de bushtails made de bobtails fu' de rabbits.
Him dat built de gread big mountains hollered out de little valleys,
Him dat made de streets an' driveways wasn't shamed to make de alleys.

We is all constructed diff'ent, d'ain't no two of us de same;
We cain't he'p ouah likes an' dislikes, ef we'se bad we ain't to blame.
Ef we'se good, we need n't show off, case you bet it ain't ouah doin'
We gits in

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