Paul Laurence Dunbar

Farewell To Arcady

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






With sombre mien, the Evening gray
Comes nagging at the heels of Day,
And driven faster and still faster
Before the dusky-mantled Master,
The light fades from her fearful eyes,
She hastens, stumbles, falls, and dies.

Beside me Amaryllis weeps;
The swelling tears obscure the deeps
Of her dark eyes, as, mistily,
The rushing rain conceals the sea.
Here, lay my tuneless reed away,--
I have no heart to tempt a lay.

I scent the perfume of the rose
Which by my crystal fountain grows.
In this sad time, are roses blowing?
And thou, my fountain, art thou flowing,

While I who watched thy waters spring
Am all too sad to smile or sing?
Nay, give me back my pipe again,
It yet shall breathe this single strain:
Farewell to Arcady!

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