Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Discovery

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: 192
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: happiness, love, moonlight
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These are the days of elfs and fays:
Who says that with the dreams of myth,
These imps and elves disport themselves?
Ah no, along the paths of song
Do all the tiny folk belong.

Round all our homes,
Kobolds and gnomes do daily cling,
Then nightly fling their lanterns out.
And shout on shout, they join the rout,
And sing, and sing, within the sweet enchanted ring.

Where gleamed the guile of moonlight’s smile,
Once paused I, listening for a while,
And heard the lay, unknown by day,—
The fairies’ dancing roundelay.

Queen Mab was there, her shimmering hair
Each fairy prince’s heart’s despair.
She smiled to see their sparkling glee,
And once I ween, she smiled at me.

Since when, you may by night or day,
Dispute the sway of elf–folk gay;
But, hear me, stay!
I’ve learned the way to find Queen
Mab and elf and fay.

Where e’er by streams, the moonlight gleams,
Or on a meadow softly beams,
There, footing round on dew–lit ground,
The fairy folk may all be found.