A Corn Song by Paul Laurence Dunbar

A Corn Song (by Paul
Laurence Dunbar)

On the wide verandah white,
In the purple failing light
            Sits the
master while the sun is lowly burning;
And his dreamy thoughts are drown’d
In the softly flowing sound
            Of the corn
songs of the field hands slow returning.

            “Oh ! we
hoe de co’n
            Since de
eh’ly mo’n,
            Now de
sinkin’ sun
            Says de day
is done.”

O’er the fields with heavy tread,
Light of heart and high of head,
            Tho’ the
halting steps be labour’d, slow, and weary,
Still the spirits brave and strong
Find a comforter in song,
            And their
corn song rises ever loud and cheery.

“Oh! we hoe, etc.”

To the master in his seat
Comes the burden, full and sweet,
            Of the
mellow minor music growing clearer;
As the toilers raise the hymn
Thro’ the silence dusk and dim,
            To the
cabin’s restful shelter drawing nearer.

            “Oh! we
hoe, etc.”

And a tear is in the eye
Of the master sitting by,
            As he
listens to the echoes low replying
To the music’s fading calls
As it faints away and falls
            Into
silence deep within the cabin dying.

            “Oh! we
hoe, etc.”

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

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