Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)
At Sunset Time
A DOWN the west a golden glow
Sinks burning in the sea,
And all the dreams of long ago
Come flooding back to me.
The past has writ a story strange
Upon my aching heart,
But time has wrought a subtle change,
My wounds have ceased to smart.
No more the quick delight of youth,
No more the sudden pain,
I look no more for trust or truth
Where greed may compass gain.
What, was it I who bared my heart
Through unrelenting years,
And knew the sting of misery's dart,
The tang of sorrow's tears?
'Tis better now, I do not weep,
I do not laugh nor care;
My soul and spirit half asleep
Drift aimless everywhere.
We float upon a sluggish stream,
We ride no rapids mad,
While life is all a tempered dream
And every joy half sad.
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