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Lyrics of Love and Laughter

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Fount of Tears

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: 154

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All hot and grimy from the road,
Dust gray from arduous years,
I sat me down and eased my load
Beside the Fount of Tears.

The waters sparkled to my eye,
Calm, crystal–like, and cool,
And breathing there a restful sigh,
I bent me to the pool.

When, lo! a voice cried: “Pilgrim, rise,
Harsh tho’ the sentence be,
And on to other lands and skies—
This fount is not for thee.

“Pass on, but calm thy needless fears,
Some may not love or sin,
An angel guards the Fount of Tears;
All may not bathe therein.”

Then with my burden on my back
I turned to gaze awhile,
First at the uninviting track,
Then at the water’s smile.

And so I go upon my way,
Thro’out the sultry years,
But pause no more, by night, by day,
Beside the Fount of Tears.