Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

A Corn-Song - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

ON the wide veranda white,
In the purple failing light,
Sits the master while the sun is lowly burning;
And his dreamy thoughts are drowned
In the softly flowing sound
Of the corn-songs of the field-hands slow returning.
Oh, we hoe de co'n
Since de ehly mo'n;
Now de sinkin' sun
Says de day is done.
O'er the fields with heavy tread,
Light of heart and high of head,
Though the halting steps be labored, slow, and weary;
Still the spirits brave and strong
Find a comforter in song,
And their corn-song rises ever loud and cheery.
Oh, we hoe de co'n
Since de ehly mo'n;
Now de sinkin' sun
Says de day is done.
To the master in his seat,
Comes the burden, full and sweet,
Of the mellow minor music growing clearer,
As the toilers raise the hymn,
Thro' the silence dusk and dim,
To the cabin's restful shelter drawing nearer.
Oh, we hoe de co'n
Since de ehly mo'n;
Now de sinkin' sun
Says de day is done.
And a tear is in the eye
Of the master sitting by,
As he listens to the echoes low-replying
To the music's fading calls
As it faints away and falls
Into silence, deep within the cabin dying.
Oh, we hoe de co'n
Since de ehly mo'n;
Now de sinkin' sun
Says de day is done.


Comments about A Corn-Song by Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (9/8/2018 9:55:00 PM)

    Such an outstanding write by Paul Laurence Dunbar👍👍👍 (Report)Reply

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  • (9/8/2018 7:41:00 PM)

    The primary constrasts- the cheer in the song and the tear in the eye. Do the slaves have joy? If so, why? Does the master have joy? It would seem the slaves should have no joy in their lives, but they have joy in a song at the end of a day's work. It would seem the master would have all the joy in his life, but finds a tear of joy in the slaves' song. Joy is not gathered from the land. It is sown in the heart. (Report)Reply

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  • Ruta Mohapatra (9/8/2018 8:52:00 AM)

    Very touching! Powerful imagery! (Report)Reply

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  • Muzahidul Reza (9/8/2018 7:38:00 AM)

    Corn song is well penned here with a nice starting:

    ON the wide veranda white,
    In the purple failing light,
    (Report)Reply

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  • (9/8/2018 3:04:00 AM)

    Thrilling. Subtle marriage of mirth with social commentary in sonorous lyrics. (Report)Reply

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  • Adrian Flett (9/8/2018 2:57:00 AM)

    The poem which is a song and at the same time reveals vivid images of the people returning after a days hard work. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010



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