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Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar


Common Things


I LIKE to hear of wealth and gold,
    And El Doradoes in their glory; 
I like for silks and satins bold
    To sweep and rustle through a story.

The nightingale is sweet of song;
    The rare exotic smells divinely; 
And knightly men who stride along,
    The role heroic carry finely.

But then, upon the other hand,
    Our minds have got a way of running 
To things that aren't quite so grand,
    Which, maybe, we are best in shunning.

For some of us still like to see
    The poor man in his dwelling narrow, 
The hollyhock, the bumblebee,
    The meadow lark, and chirping sparrow.

We like the man who soars and sings
    With high and lofty inspiration; 
But he who sings of common things
    Shall always share our admiration. 



Paul Laurence Dunbar


Paul Laurence Dunbar's other poems:
  1. The Rising of the Storm
  2. An Ante-Bellum Sermon
  3. Whittier
  4. Unexpressed
  5. Frederick Douglass


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