Quotes by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872– February 9, 1906) was a seminal African American poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dunbar gained national recognition for his 1896 "Ode to Ethiopia", one poem in the collection Lyrics of Lowly Life.

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This, this it is to be accursed indeed; For if we mortals love, or if we sing/We count our joys not by the things we have/But by what kept us from the perfect thing.

Not those who soar, but those who plod/ their rugged way to God, unhelped, are heroes/Tis they whose backs have felt the rod/Whose feet have pressed the path unshod/ May smile upon defeated care/Not they who soar.
Theology: There is a heaven, for ever, day by day/ The upward longing of my soul doth tell me so./ There is a hell, I'm quite as sure; for pray,/ If there were not, where would my neighbors go? --Paul Laurence Dunbar
Well the prophecy was kept; Christ--"first fruit of them that slept"--Rose with vic'try-circled brow; So, believing one, shalt thou.
So, with the singing of paeans and chorals, And with the flag flashing high in the sun, Place on the graves of our heroes the laurels Which their unfaltering valor has won!
Underneath the autumn sky, Haltingly, the lines go by. Ah, would steps were blithe and gay, As when first they marched away, Smile on lip and curl on brow,-- Only white-faced gray beards now Standing on life's outer verge, E'en the marches sound a dirge.
Folks is go'gin' me wid goodies, an' dey's treatin' me wid caih, An' I's fat in spite of all dat I kin do. I's mistrus'ful of de kin'ness dat's erroun' me evahwhaih, Fu' it's jest' too good, an' frequent, to be true.
From pestilence, fire, flood, and sword We have been spared by thy decree, And now with humble hearts, O Lord, We come to pay our thanks to thee.
When August days are hot an' dry, When burning copper is the sky, I'd rather fish than feast or fly In airy realms serene and high.
'Tis wealth enough of joy for me In summer time to simply be.
Home agin, an' home to stay--Yes, it's nice to be away. Plenty things to do an' see, But the old place seems to me Jest about the proper thing. Mebbe 'ts 'cause the mem'ries cling Closer 'round yore place o' birth N ary other spot on earth.
We'll love her as we loved the dear old school or very very near it, For tho' she's thrown the dress away, she's kept the same old spirit; And of her present boys and girls we'll each prove a believer That every year she'll turn them out as good and bright as we were.

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