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Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar
One of the first African-American poets to gain national recognition, Paul Laurence Dunbar is the author of many books of poetry...
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by Alice Dunbar-Nelson
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Phyllis

 
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day,
     Few are my years, but my griefs are not few, 
Ever to youth should each day be a May-day,
     Warm wind and rose-breath and diamonded dew— 
Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day.

Oh for the sunlight that shines on a May-day!
     Only the cloud hangeth over my life. 
Love that should bring me youth's happiest heyday
    Brings me but seasons of sorrow and strife; 
Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day.

Sunshine or shadow, or gold day or gray day,
     Life must be lived as our destinies rule; 
Leisure or labor or work day or play day—
     Feasts for the famous and fun for the fool; 
Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day.



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