Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)
DEEP in my heart that aches with the repression,
And strives with plenitude of bitter pain,
There lives a thought that clamors for expression,
And spends its undelivered force in vain.
What boots it that some other may have thought it?
The right of thoughts' expression is divine;
The price of pain I pay for it has bought it,
I care not who lays claim to it — 't is mine!
And yet not mine until it be delivered;
The manner of its birth shall prove the test.
Alas, alas, my rock of pride is shivered —
I beat my brow — the thought still unexpressed.
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