Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

A Madrigal


Dream days of fond delight and hours
As rosy-hued as dawn, are mine.
Love's drowsy wine,
Brewed from the heart of Passion flowers,
Flows softly o'er my lips
And save thee, all the world is in eclipse.

There were no light if thou wert not;
The sun would be too sad to shine,
And all the line
Of hours from dawn would be a blot;
And Night would haunt the skies,
An unlaid ghost with staring dark-ringed eyes.

Oh, love, if thou wert not my love,
And I perchance not thine--what then?
Could gift of men
Or favor of the God above,
Plant aught in this bare heart
Or teach this tongue the singer's soulful art?

Ah, no! 'Tis love, and love alone
That spurs my soul so surely on;
Turns night to dawn,
And thorns to roses fairest blown;
And winter drear to spring--
Oh, were it not for love I could not sing!

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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