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Dirge

Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872 (Dayton) – 1906



PLACE this bunch of mignonette
In her cold, dead hand;
When the golden sun is set,
Where the poplars stand,
Bury her from sun and day,
Lay my little love away
From my sight.
She was like a modest flower
Blown in sunny June,
Warm as sun at noon's high hour,
Chaster than the moon.
Ah, her day was brief and bright,
Earth has lost a star of light;
She is dead.
Softly breathe her name to me,—
Ah, I loved her so.
Gentle let your tribute be;
None may better know
Her true worth than I who weep
O'er her as she lies asleep
Soft asleep.
Lay these lilies on her breast,
They are not more white
Than the soul of her, at rest
'Neath their petals bright.
Chant your aves soft and low,
Solemn be your tread and slow, —
She is dead.
Lay her here beneath the grass,
Cool and green and sweet,
Where the gentle brook may pass
Crooning at her feet.
Nature's bards shall come and sing,
And the fairest flowers shall spring
Where she lies.
Safe above the water's swirl,
She has crossed the bar;
Earth has lost a precious pearl,
Heaven has gained a star,
That shall ever sing and shine,
Till it quells this grief of mine
For my love.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:07 min read
51

Quick analysis:

Scheme aaaaabacdcdaaAefefgggaaaaffAhahaiijklklmmn
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,090
Words 222
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 42

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar was a seminal American poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries Dunbar gained national recognition for his 1896 Lyrics of a Lowly Life one poem in the collection being Ode to Ethiopia more…

All Paul Laurence Dunbar poems | Paul Laurence Dunbar Books

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