Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow

This is a collection of poetry by African American author Paul Laurence Dunbar. Dunbar's work frequently features a conversational tone, innovative rhetorical structure, and a colorful use of both dialect and mainstream English. Dunbar was among the first nationally successful African American writers.

Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.

A Boy's Summer Song
"‘Tis fine to play, In the fragrant hay,"
The Sand-Man
"I know a man, With face of tan,"
Johnny Speaks
"The sand–man he’s a jolly old fellow,"
"Oh, who would be sad tho’ the sky be a–graying,"
A Christmas Folksong
"De win’ is blowin’ wahmah,"
The Forest Greeting
"Good hunting!—aye, good hunting,"
The Lily of the Valley
"Sweetest of the flowers a–blooming"
"Because you love me I have much achieved,"
To J.Q.
"What are the things that make life bright?"
"Tell your love where the roses blow,"
"Ain’t it nice to have a mammy"
Wadin' In De Crick
"Days git wa’m an’ wa’mah,"
The Quilting
"Dolly sits a–quilting by her mother, stich by stitch,"
"She wrapped her soul in a lace of lies,"
"I had not known before, Forever was so long a word."
The Plantation Child's Lullaby
"Wintah time hit comin’ Stealin’ thoo de night;"
"‘Twixt a smile and a tear,"
"Mammy’s in de kitchen, an’ de do’ is shet;"
"Granny’s gone a–visitin’,"
Puttin' the Baby Away
"Eight of ‘em hyeah all tol’ an’ yet"
The Fisher Child's Lullaby
"The wind is out in its rage to–night,"
"I’s a–gittin’ weary of de way dat people do,"
The Farm Child's Lullaby
"Oh, the little bird is rocking in the cradle of the wind,"
The Place Where the Rainbow Ends
"There’s a fabulous story, Full of splendor and glory"
"De dog go howlin’ ‘long de road,"
"My muvver’s ist the nicest one"
A Song
"On a summer’s day as I sat by a stream,"
"The gray dawn on the mountain top"
To Dan
"Step me now a bridal measure,"
What's the Use
"What’s the use o’ folks a–frownin’"
A Lazy Day
"The trees bend down along the stream,"
"W’en you full o’ worry"
"Ef you’s only got de powah fe’ to blow a little whistle,"
A Golden Day
"I found you and I lost you,"
The Unlucky Apple
"‘Twas the apple that in Eden"
The Discovery
"These are the days of elfs and fays:"
"The mist has left the greening plain,"
The Awakening
"I did not know that life could be so sweet,"
Love's Draft
"The draft of love was cool and sweet"
A Musical
"Outside the rain upon the street,"
Twell De Night Is Pas
"All de night long twell de moon goes down,"
"Standin’ at de winder,"
Dreamin' Town
"Come away to dreamin’ town,"
At Night
"Whut time ‘d dat clock strike?"
"I held my heart so far from harm,"
"Because I had loved so deeply,"
Winter's Approach
"De sun hit shine an’ de win’ hit blow,"
"If thro’ the sea of night which here surrounds me,"
The Veteran
"Underneath the autumn sky,"
Yesterday and Tomorrow
"Yesterday I held your hand,"
The Change
"Love used to carry a bow, you know,"
The Chase
"The wind told the little leaves to hurry,"
"If ‘twere fair to suppose"
The Death of the First Born
"Cover him over with daisies white"
Bein' Back Home
"Home agin, an’ home to stay—"
The Old Cabin
"In de dead of night I sometimes,"
"Let me close the eyes of my soul"
Circumstances Alter Cases
"Tim Murphy’s gon’ walkin’ wid Maggie O’Neill,"
Till the Wind Gets Right
"Oh the breeze is blowin’ balmy"
A Summer Night
"Summah is de lovin’ time—"
At Sunset Time
"Adown the west a golden glow"
"Silence, and whirling worlds afar"
At Loafing-Holt
"Since I left the city’s heat"
When a feller's Itchin' To Be Spanked
"W’en us fellers stomp around, makin’ lots o’ noise,"
The River of Ruin
"Along by the river of ruin"
To Her
"Your presence like a benison to me"
A Love Letter
"Oh, I des received a letter f’om de sweetest little gal;"
After Many Days
"I’ve always been a faithful man"
Liza May
"Little brown face full of smiles,"
The Masters
"Oh, who is the Lord of the land of life,"
Trouble In De Kitchen
"Dey was oncet a awful quoil ‘twixt de skillet an’ de pot;"
"Step wid de banjo an’ glide wid de fiddle,"
Roses and Pearls
"Your spoken words are roses fine and sweet,"
"The rain streams down like harp–strings from the sky;"
A Lost Dream
"Ah, I have changed, I do not know"
A Song
"Thou art the soul of a summer’s day,"
  • Year Published: 1913
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
  • Word Count: 13,465
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: adventure, autumn, baby, battle, calm, candle, caring, celebrate, celebration, change, child, childhood, cold, cook, cooking, dance, darkness, dawn, death, doctor, dream, drink, eat, fear, feast, fire, fish, fishing, flame, flower, freedom, frost, grandma, grandmother, gray, happiness, harvest, heart, heaven, home, hope, hunt, hunting, journey, joy, kindness, life, loneliness, longing, loss, lost, love, meal, mercy, mischief, mom, moon, moonlight, mother, music, nature, night, pain, peace, play, quilt, rabbit, rain, restless, sadness, sail, sailing, sea, seasons, sew, sing, sleep, smile, snow, song, sorrow, soul, sport, storm, summer, sunshine, swim, swimming, time, tired, treasure, twilight, war, weather, wind, winter, worry
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