Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

If - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

IF life were but a dream, my Love,
And death the waking time;
If day had not a beam, my Love,
And night had not a rhyme, —
A barren, barren world were this
Without one saving gleam;
I'd only ask that with a kiss
You'd wake me from the dream.
If dreaming were the sum of days,
And loving were the bane;
If battling for a wreath of bays
Could soothe a heart in pain, —
I'd scorn the meed of battle's might,
All other aims above
I'd choose the human's higher right,
To suffer and to love!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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