Life's Tragedy Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Life's Tragedy

Rating: 3.8

It may be misery not to sing at all,
And to go silent through the brimming day;
It may be misery never to be loved,
But deeper griefs than these beset the way.

To sing the perfect song,
And by a half-tone lost the key,
There the potent sorrow, there the grief,
The pale, sad staring of Life's Tragedy.

To have come near to the perfect love,
Not the hot passion of untempered youth,
But that which lies aside its vanity,
And gives, for thy trusting worship, truth.

This, this indeed is to be accursed,
For if we mortals love, or if we sing,
We count our joys not by what we have,
But by what kept us from that perfect thing.

Paige S 16 April 2010

Now this is lovely! ! ! !

17 9 Reply
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho 16 April 2012

Let the poet take my pleasure and praise; his notes are high and logical. This poem, especially the first stanza, is a masterpiece of the month for me! ! !

14 9 Reply
Emma Adamyan 16 April 2010

and I don`t understand why so low votes. namely I put 10, because I think it`s a real poem, but not boring, just need to get the idea the author tried to deliver. i think he took farer about falling short. for sometimes 2+2 is not 4. in life it goes bit different way than in mathematics. bright and memorable work!

11 11 Reply
Kevin Straw 16 April 2010

The greatest tragedy is not to fall short of perfection but not to try for it. Should it not be: 'And by a half-tone lose the key.'

10 11 Reply
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho 16 April 2012

master piece of the month, for me and to me!

12 8 Reply
Dr Dillip K Swain 07 October 2023

Perfect calibration....loved this wonderful work of art knitted like a tapestry! Loved the contrast, 'For if we mortals love, or if we sing, We count our joys not by what we have'....Appreciated the variance! !

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Possible 02 March 2022

Please what was the purpose for writing this poem

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Sylvia Frances Chan 07 February 2022

Touching poem about an elusive love. A poetic gem

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Sylvia Frances Chan 07 February 2022

Dunbar the best Northamrican poet in this category. His poems are not only for reading and having fun, but they keep us all day long busy in our thoughts, which I never had before in other poets' poems. Great Classic Poet

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MAHTAB BANGALEE 06 February 2022

life is adventrous always through fatal tragedy ///

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Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Ohio / United States
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