Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Fount Of Tears

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






All hot and grimy from the road,
Dust gray from arduous years,
I sat me down and eased my load
Beside the Fount of Tears.

The waters sparkled to my eye,
Calm, crystal-like, and cool,
And breathing there a restful sigh,
I bent me to the pool.

When, lo! a voice cried: 'Pilgrim, rise,
Harsh tho' the sentence be,
And on to other lands and skies--
This fount is not for thee.

'Pass on, but calm thy needless fears,
Some may not love or sin,
An angel guards the Fount of Tears;
All may not bathe therein.'

Then with my burden on my back
I turned to gaze awhile,
First at the uninviting track,
Then at the water's smile.

And so I go upon my way,
Thro'out the sultry years,
But pause no more, by night, by day,
Beside the Fount of Tears.

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