Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872-1906



After While
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
[from Lyrics of Lowly Life, 1896]
  

     A POEM OF FAITH

I think that though the clouds be dark,
That though the waves dash o’er the bark,
Yet after while the light will come,
And in calm waters safe at home
          The bark will anchor.
Weep not, my sad–eyed, gray–robed maid,
Because your fairest blossoms fade,
That sorrow still o’erruns your cup,
And even though you root them up, 
          The weeds grow ranker.

For after while your tears shall cease,
And sorrow shall give way to peace;
The flowers shall bloom, the weeds shall die,
And in that faith seen, by and by 
          Thy woes shall perish.
Smile at old Fortune’s adverse tide,
Smile when the scoffers sneer and chide.
Oh, not for you the gems that pale,
And not for you the flowers that fail; 
          Let this thought cherish:

That after while the clouds will part,
And then with joy the waiting heart
Shall feel the light come stealing in,
That drives away the cloud of sin 
          And breaks its power.

And you shall burst your chrysalis,
And wing away to realms of bliss,
Untrammelled, pure, divinely free,
Above all earth’s anxiety 
          From that same hour. 



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