Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)
When All Is Done
When all is done, and my last word is said,
And ye who loved me murmur, 'He is dead,'
Let no one weep, for fear that I should know,
And sorrow too that ye should sorrow so.
When all is done and in the oozing clay,
Ye lay this cast-off hull of mine away,
Pray not for me, for, after long despair,
The quiet of the grave will be a prayer.
For I have suffered loss and grievous pain,
The hurts of hatred and the world's disdain,
And wounds so deep that love, well-tried and pure,
Had not the pow'r to ease them or to cure.
When all is done, say not my day is o'er,
And that thro' night I seek a dimmer shore:
Say rather that my morn has just begun,--
I greet the dawn and not a setting sun,
When all is done.
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