Poetry Sunday: In Summer by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in 1872 and was one of the first African-American poets to earn national recognition. I've always felt an affinity for his poetry and here is one that speaks eloquently of our current season - a season that will soon be ending.

In Summer

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies' soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.

And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air's soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.

I envy the farmer's boy
Who sings as he follows the plow;
While the shining green of the young blades lean
To the breezes that cool his brow.

He sings to the dewy morn,
No thought of another's ear;
But the song he sings is a chant for kings
And the whole wide world to hear.

He sings of the joys of life,
Of the pleasures of work and rest,
From an o'erfull heart, without aim or art;
'T is a song of the merriest.

O ye who toil in the town,
And ye who moil in the mart,
Hear the artless song, and your faith made strong
Shall renew your joy of heart.

Oh, poor were the worth of the world
If never a song were heard,—
If the sting of grief had no relief,
And never a heart were stirred.

So, long as the streams run down,
And as long as the robins trill,
Let us taunt old Care with a merry air,
And sing in the face of ill.


  1. Cares really don't seem to rest as heavy in summer. You must be celebrating the end of your horrid hot summer, though.

    1. Our high temperatures will finally be in *only* the high nineties Fahrenheit this week according to forecasters and, yes, that does seem worthy of celebration!

  2. So nice! I'm not familiar with this poet, but I really like this poem. :D

    1. All of his poems that I am familiar with are very evocative and affecting.


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