Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872-1906

The Dilettante: A Modern Type
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
[from Lyrics of Lowly Life, 1896]

He scribbles some in prose and verse,
     And now and then he prints it;
He paints a little,–gathers some 
     Of Nature’s gold and mints it.

He plays a little, sings a song, 
     Acts tragic roles, or funny;
He does, because his love is strong, 
     But not, oh, not for money!

He studies almost everything 
     From social art to science;
A thirsty mind, a flowing spring, 
     Demand and swift compliance.

He looms above the sordid crowd– 
     At least through friendly lenses;
While his mamma looks pleased and proud, 
     And kindly pays expenses. 


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