Poetry, VOLUME 10

Paul Laurence Dunbar – Five Poems

This week marked the anniversary of the death of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

In remembrance of his life and work, here are five of our favorite poems by him…

A Thanksgiving Poem
Paul Laurence Dunbar


The sun hath shed its kindly light,
    Our harvesting is gladly o’er
Our fields have felt no killing blight,
    Our bins are filled with goodly store.

From pestilence, fire, flood, and sword
    We have been spared by thy decree,
And now with humble hearts, O Lord,
    We come to pay our thanks to thee.

We feel that had our merits been
    The measure of thy gifts to us,
We erring children, born of sin,
    Might not now be rejoicing thus.

No deed of ours hath brought us grace;
    When thou were nigh our sight was dull,
We hid in trembling from thy face,
    But thou, O God, wert merciful.

Thy mighty hand o’er all the land
    Hath still been open to bestow
Those blessings which our wants demand
    From heaven, whence all blessings flow.

Thou hast, with ever watchful eye,
    Looked down on us with holy care,
And from thy storehouse in the sky
    Hast scattered plenty everywhere.

Then lift we up our songs of praise
    To thee, O Father, good and kind;
To thee we consecrate our days;
    Be thine the temple of each mind.

With incense sweet our thanks ascend;
    Before thy works our powers pall;
Though we should strive years without end,
    We could not thank thee for them all.

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