Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Forest Greeting

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






GOOD hunting! — aye, good hunting,
Wherever the forests call;
But ever a heart beats hot with fear,
And what of the birds that fall?
Good hunting! — aye, good hunting,
Wherever the north winds blow;
But what of the stag that calls for his mate?
And what of the wounded doe?
Good hunting! — aye, good hunting,
And ah! we are bold and strong;
But our triumph call through the forest hall
Is a brother's funeral song.
For we are brothers ever,
Panther and bird and bear;
Man and the weakest that fear his face,
Born to the nest or lair.
Yes, brothers, and who shall judge us?
Hunters and game are we;
But who gave the right for me to smite?
Who boasts when he smiteth me?
Good hunting! — aye, good hunting,
And dim is the forest track;
But the sportsman Death comes striding on:
Brothers, the way is black.

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