Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872-1906

By the Stream
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
[from Lyrics of Lowly Life, 1896]

By the stream I dream in calm delight, and watch as in a glass,
How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed maidens pass,
And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles as it spreads,
Like a host of armored knights with silver helmets on their heads.

And I deem the stream an emblem fit of human life may go,
For I find a mind may sparkle much and yet but shallows show,
And a soul may glow with myriad lights and wonderous mysteries,
When it only lies a dormant thing and mirrors what it sees. 

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