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Lyrics of Love and Laughter

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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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: 167

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My neighbor lives on the hill,
And I in the valley dwell,
My neighbor must look down on me,
Must I look up?—ah, well,
My neighbor lives on the hill,
And I in the valley dwell.

My neighbor reads, and prays,
And I—I laugh, God wot,
And sing like a bird when the grass is green
In my small garden plot;
But ah, he reads and prays,
And I—I laugh, God wot.

His face is a book of woe,
And mine is a song of glee;
A slave he is to the great “They say,”
But I—I am bold and free;
No wonder he smacks of woe,
And I have the tang of glee.

My neighbor thinks me a fool,
“The same to yourself,” say I;
“Why take your books and take your prayers,
Give me the open sky;”
My neighbor thinks me a fool,
“The same to yourself,” say I.