Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)
A Bridal Measure
Come, essay a sprightly measure,
Tuned to some light song of pleasure.
Maidens, let your brows be crowned
As we foot this merry round.
From the ground a voice is singing,
From the sod a soul is springing.
Who shall say 't is but a clod
Quick'ning upward toward its God?
Who shall say it? Who may know it,
That the clod is not a poet
Waiting but a gleam to waken
In a spirit music-shaken?
Phyllis, Phyllis, why be waiting?
In the woods the birds are mating.
From the tree beside the wall,
Hear the am'rous robin call.
Listen to yon thrush's trilling;
Phyllis, Phyllis, are you willing,
When love speaks from cave and tree,
Only we should silent be?
When the year, itself renewing,
All the world with flowers is strewing,
Then through Youth's Arcadian land,
Love and song go hand in hand.
Come, unfold your vocal treasure,
Sing with me a nuptial measure,--
Let this springtime gambol be
Bridal dance for you and me.
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