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Good-night, my love, for I have dreamed of thee In waking dreams, until my soul is lost— Is lost in passion's wide and shoreless sea, Where, like a ship, unruddered, it is tost Hither and thither at the wild waves' will. There is no potent Master's voice to still This newer, more tempestuous Galilee!
The stormy petrels of my fancy fly In warning course across the darkening green, And, like a frightened bird, my heart doth cry And seek to find some rock of rest between The threatening sky and the relentless wave. It is not length of life that grief doth crave, But only calm and peace in which to die.
Here let me rest upon this single hope, For oh, my wings are weary of the wind, And with its stress no more may strive or cope. One cry has dulled mine ears, mine eyes are blind,— Would that o'er all the intervening space, I might fly forth and see thee face to face. I fly; I search, but, love, in gloom I grope.
Fly home, far bird, unto thy waiting nest; Spread thy strong wings above the wind-swept sea. Beat the grim breeze with thy unruffled breast Until thou sittest wing to wing with me. Then, let the past bring up its tales of wrong; We shall chant low our sweet connubial song, Till storm and doubt and past no more shall be!
This poem is in the public domain.
About This Poem
"Absence" was published in Lyrics of the Hearthside (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1899).
Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in 1872, in Dayton, Ohio. He was one of the first African American poets to gain national recognition. His books of poetry include Lyrics of Lowly Life (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1896) and Poems of Cabin and Field (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1899). He died in 1906.
"The Lights at Carney's Point" by Alice Dunbar-Nelson
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