Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Wraith

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






Ah me, it is cold and chill
And the fire sobs low in the grate,
While the wind rides by on the hill,
And the logs crack sharp with hate.

And she, she is cold and sad
As ever the sinful are,
But deep in my heart I am glad
For my wound and the coming scar.

Oh, ever the wind rides by
And ever the raindrops grieve;
But a voice like a woman's sigh
Says, 'Do you believe, believe?'

Ah, you were warm and sweet,
Sweet as the May days be;
Down did I fall at your feet,
Why did you hearken to me?

Oh, the logs they crack and whine,
And the water drops from the eaves;
But it is not rain but brine
Where my dead darling grieves.

And a wraith sits by my side,
A spectre grim and dark;
Are you gazing here open-eyed
Out to the lifeless dark?

But ever the wind rides on,
And we sit close within;
Out of the face of the dawn,
I and my darling,--sin.

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