(This poem about Paul Laurence Dunbar is excerpted from Town and Country, May 5, 1906 edition. The poem appeared on page 15 – Editor)
Paul Laurence Dunbar
By Charlotte Becker
The first true poet of his burdened race,
He wove its pathos and its humor fleet
Into his verses, wistful, warm and sweet.
His was the music of each lowly place
Where cabin windows frame a dusky face;
And in the fields, the swing of tramping feet
Thrilled through his heart in melody, replete
With mellow cadences and lilting grace.
Quaint tenderness was his, ad homely cheer,
And fellow-feeling for the beasts and birds;
The willows murmured to him, and the clear,
Slow ripple of the brook stole through his words.
And, compact of all these, illuminated, strong –
He gave his people’s thought a soul of song.