The Poetry Corner


By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Silently without my window, Tapping gently at the pane, Falls the rain. Through the trees sighs the breeze Like a soul in pain. Here alone I sit and weep; Thought hath banished sleep. Wearily I sit and listen To the water's ceaseless drip. To my lip Fate turns up the bitter cup, Forcing me to sip; 'T is a bitter, bitter drink, Thus I sit and think,-- Thinking things unknown and awful, Thoughts on wild, uncanny themes, Waking dreams. Spectres dark, corpses stark, Show the gaping seams Whence the cold and cruel knife Stole away their life. Bloodshot eyes all strained and staring, Gazing ghastly into mine; Blood like wine On the brow--clotted now-- Shows death's dreadful sign. Lonely vigil still I keep; Would that I might sleep! Still, oh, still, my brain is whirling! Still runs on my stream of thought; I am caught In the net fate hath set. Mind and soul are brought To destruction's very brink; Yet I can but think! Eyes that look into the future,-- Peeping forth from out my mind, They will find Some new weight, soon or late, On my soul to bind, Crushing all its courage out,-- Heavier than doubt. Dawn, the Eastern monarch's daughter, Rising from her dewy bed, Lays her head 'Gainst the clouds' sombre shrouds Now half fringed with red. O'er the land she 'gins to peep; Come, O gentle Sleep! Hark! the morning cock is crowing; Dreams, like ghosts, must hie away; 'Tis the day. Rosy morn now is born; Dark thoughts may not stay. Day my brain from foes will keep; Now, my soul, I sleep.