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Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar


The Seedling


AS a quiet little seedling
    Lay within its darksome bed, 
To itself it fell a-talking,
    And this is what it said:

"I am not so very robust,
    But I'll do the best I can;" 
And the seedling from that moment
    Its work of life began.

So it pushed a little leaflet
    Up into the light of day, 
To examine the surroundings
    And show the rest the way.

The leaflet liked the prospect,
    So it called its brother, Stem; 
Then two other leaflets heard it,
    And quickly followed them.

To be sure, the haste and hurry
    Made the seedling sweat and pant; 
But almost before it knew it
    It found itself a plant.

The sunshine poured upon it,
    And the clouds they gave a shower; 
And the little plant kept growing
    Till it found itself a flower.

Little folks, be like the seedling,
    Always do the best you can; 
Every child must share life's labor
    Just as well as every man.

And the sun and showers will help you
    Through the lonesome, struggling hours, 
Till you raise to light and beauty
    Virtue's fair, unfading flowers. 



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. Premonition


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