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Lyrics of Lowly Life

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

"The Wooing"

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1913
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
  • Word Count: 303

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A youth went faring up and down,

Alack and well–a–day.
He fared him to the market town,
Alack and well–a–day.
And there he met a maiden fair,
With hazel eyes and auburn hair;
His heart went from him then and there,
Alack and well–a–day.
She posies sold right merrily,

Alack and well–a–day;
But not a flower was fair as she,
Alack and well–a–day.
He bought a rose and sighed a sigh,
“Ah, dearest maiden, would that I
Might dare the seller too to buy!”
Alack and well–a–day.
She tossed her head, the coy coquette,

Alack and well–a–day.
“I’m not, sir, in the market yet,”
Alack and well–a–day.
“Your love must cool upon a shelf;
Tho’ much I sell for gold and pelf,
I ‘m yet too young to sell myself,”
Alack and well–a–day.
The youth was filled with sorrow sore,

Alack and well–a–day.
And looked he at the maid once more,
Alack and well–a–day.
Then loud he cried, “Fair maiden, if
Too young to sell, now as I live,
You’re not too young yourself to give,”
Alack and well–a–day.
The little maid cast down her eyes,

Alack and well–a–day.
And many a flush began to rise,
Alack and well–a–day.
“Why, since you are so bold,” she said,
“I doubt not you are highly bred,
So take me!” and the twain were wed,
Alack and well–a–day.