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Lyrics of Lowly Life

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

"Nora: A Serenade"

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: 184

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Ah, Nora, my Nora, the light fades away,
While Night like a spirit steals up o’er the hills;
The thrush from his tree where he chanted all day,
No longer his music in ecstasy trills.
Then, Nora, be near me; thy presence doth cheer me,
Thine eye hath a gleam that is truer than gold.

I cannot but love thee; so do not reprove me,
If the strength of my passion should make me too bold.
Nora, pride of my heart—
Rosy cheeks, cherry lips, sparkling with glee,—
Wake from thy slumbers, wherever thou art;
Wake from thy slumbers to me.

Ah, Nora, my Nora, there ’s love in the air,—
It stirs in the numbers that thrill in my brain;
Oh, sweet, sweet is love with its mingling of care,
Though joy travels only a step before pain.
Be roused from thy slumbers and list to my numbers;
My heart is poured out in this song unto thee.
Oh, be thou not cruel, thou treasure, thou jewel;
Turn thine ear to my pleading and hearken to me.