The Poetry Corner

To The Miami

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Kiss me, Miami, thou most constant one! I love thee more for that thou changest not. When Winter comes with frigid blast, Or when the blithesome Spring is past And Summer's here with sunshine hot, Or in sere Autumn, thou has still the pow'r To charm alike, whate'er the hour. Kiss me, Miami, with thy dewy lips; Throbs fast my heart e'en as thine own breast beats. My soul doth rise as rise thy waves, As each on each the dark shore laves And breaks in ripples and retreats. There is a poem in thine every phase; Thou still has sung through all thy days. Tell me, Miami, how it was with thee When years ago Tecumseh in his prime His birch boat o'er thy waters sent, And pitched upon thy banks his tent. In that long-gone, poetic time, Did some bronze bard thy flowing stream sit by And sing thy praises, e'en as I? Did some bronze lover 'neath this dark old tree Whisper of love unto his Indian maid? And didst thou list his murmurs deep, And in thy bosom safely keep The many raging vows they said? Or didst thou tell to fish and frog and bird The raptured scenes that there occurred? But, O dear stream, what volumes thou couldst tell To all who know thy language as I do, Of life and love and jealous hate! But now to tattle were too late,-- Thou who hast ever been so true. Tell not to every passing idler here All those sweet tales that reached thine ear. But, silent stream, speak out and tell me this: I say that men and things are still the same; Were men as bold to do and dare? Were women then as true and fair? Did poets seek celestial flame, The hero die to gain a laureled brow, And women suffer, then as now?