Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Oak and Ivy (1893)

Oak and Ivy

To Her Who has ever been My guide, Teacher, and Inspiration My Mother, This little volume is affectionately inscribed.

First published by Press of United Brethren Publishing House: Dayton, OH

Copyright 1893

On the Death of W. C.

Thou arrant robber, Death!
Couldst thou not find
Some lesser one than he
To rob of breath,--
Some poorer mind
Thy prey to be?

His mind was like the sky,--
As pure and free;
His heart was broad and open
As the sea.
His soul shone purely through his face,
And Love made him her dwelling place.

Not less the scholar than the friend,
Not less a friend than man;
The manly life did shorter end
Because so broad it ran.

Weep not for him, unhappy Muse!
His merits found a grander use
Some other-where. God wisely sees
The place that needs his qualities.
Weep not for him, for when Death lowers
O'er youth's ambrosia-scented bowers
He only plucks the choicest flowers.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Oak and Ivy

3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435. Phone: (937) 775-2525