Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

A Farm House by the River


I know a little country place
Where still my heart doth linger,
And o'er its fields is every grace
Lined out by memory's finger.
Back from the lane where poplars grew
And aspens quake and quiver,
There stands all bath'd in summer's glow
A farm house by the river.

Its eaves are touched with golden light
So sweetly, softly shining,
And morning glories full and bright
About the doors are twining.
And there endowed with every grace
That nature's hand could giver her,
There lived the angel of the place
In the farm house by the river.

Her eyes were blue, her hair was gold,
Her face was bright and sunny;
The songs that from her bosom rolled
Were sweet as summer's honey.
And I loved her well, that maid divine,
And I prayed the Gracious Giver,
That I some day might call her mine
In the farm house by the river.

Twas not to be - but God knows best.
His will for aye be heeded!
Perhaps amid the angels' bliss,
My little love was needed.
Her spirit from its thralldom torn
Went singing o'er the river,
And that sweet life my heart shall mourn
Forever and forever.

She dies one morn at early light
When all the birds are singing,
And Heaven itself in pure delight
Its bells of joy seemed ringing.
They laid her dust where soon and late
The solemn grasses quiver,
And left alone and desolate
The farm house by the river.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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  • Rookie - 663 Points Birgitta Abimbola Heikka (4/22/2014 9:09:00 PM)

    Lovely poem. One can actually draw the farm house by the river from the description. Like the way he ascribes finger to memory in line 4: “Lined out by memory’s finger.” (Report) Reply

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