Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)
A little dreaming by the way,
A little toiling day by day;
A little pain, a little strife,
A little joy,--and that is life.
A little short-lived summer's morn,
When joy seems all so newly born,
When one day's sky is blue above,
And one bird sings,--and that is love.
A little sickening of the years,
The tribute of a few hot tears
Two folded hands, the failing breath,
And peace at last,--and that is death.
Just dreaming, loving, dying so,
The actors in the drama go--
A flitting picture on a wall,
Love, Death, the themes; but is that all?
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