This is the debt I pay
Just for one riotous day,
Years of regret and grief,
Sorrow without relief.
Pay it I will to the end—
Until the grave, my friend,
Gives me a true release—
Gives me the clasp of peace.
Slight was the thing I bought,
Small was the debt I thought,
Poor was the loan at best—
God! but the interest!
 

Poems by This Author

A Negro Love Song by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Seen my lady home las' night,
Beyond the Years by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Beyond the years the answer lies
Frederick Douglass by Paul Laurence Dunbar
A hush is over all the teeming lists
In Summer by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In Summer Time by Paul Laurence Dunbar
When summer time has come, and all
Invitation to Love by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Come when the nights are bright with stars
Phyllis by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Ships That Pass in the Night by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing
Signs of the Times by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Air a-gittin' cool an' coolah
Summer in the South by Paul Laurence Dunbar
The oriole sings in the greening grove
Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar
I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar
We wear the mask that grins and lies
When Malindy Sings by Paul Laurence Dunbar
G'way an' quit dat noise, Miss Lucy--


Further Reading

Poems About Work and Money
A Situation for Mrs. Biswas
by Prageeta Sharma
Blues
by Elizabeth Alexander
Coming Close
by Philip Levine
Engines Within the Throne
by Cathy Park Hong
Hay for the Horses
by Gary Snyder
I am the People, the Mob
by Carl Sandburg
i am witness to the threshing of the grain
by John Hoffman
Odd Jobs
by Jericho Brown
On Quitting
by Edgar Guest
One of the Monkeys
by Nicholas Johnson
Personals
by C. D. Wright
Po' Boy Blues
by Langston Hughes
Proximity
by Randall Mann
Song of Myself
by John Canaday
Song of the Shirt
by Thomas Hood
Testament
by Carl Sandburg
The Dance
by Humberto Ak'Abal
The Eternal City
by Jim Simmerman
The Orange Bears
by Kenneth Patchen
The Telephonist
by Susan Yuzna
The Unknown Citizen
by W. H. Auden
The Whistle
by Yusef Komunyakaa
The World Is Too Much With Us
by William Wordsworth
Thinking of Work
by James Shea
Vocation
by Sandra Beasley