- 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.
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
- Word Count: 114
Dunbar, P. (1913). The Sum. Lyrics of the Hearthside (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved August 14, 2022, from
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. "The Sum." Lyrics of the Hearthside. Lit2Go Edition. 1913. Web. <>. August 14, 2022.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, "The Sum," Lyrics of the Hearthside, Lit2Go Edition, (1913), accessed August 14, 2022,.
A little dreaming by the way,
A little toiling day by day;
A little pain, a little strife,
A little joy,—and that is life.
A little short–lived summer’s morn,
When joy seems all so newly born,
When one day’s sky is blue above,
And one bird sings,—and that is love.
A little sickening of the years,
The tribute of a few hot tears
Two folded hands, the failing breath,
And peace at last,—and that is death.
Just dreaming, loving, dying so,
The actors in the drama go—
A flitting picture on a wall,
Love, Death, the themes; but is that all?