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Paul Laurence Dunbar

Dinah Kneading Dough

I have seen full many a sight

Born of day or drawn by night:

Sunlight on a silver stream,

Golden lilies all a-dream,

Lofty mountains, bold and proud,

Veiled beneath the lacelike cloud;

But no lovely sight I know

Equals Dinah kneading dough.

Brown arms buried elbow-deep

Their domestic rhythm keep,

As with steady sweep they go

Through the gently yielding dough.

Maids may vaunt their finer charms—

Naught to me like Dinah's arms;

Girls may draw, or paint, or sew—

I love Dinah kneading dough.

Eyes of jet and teeth of pearl,

Hair, some say, too tight a-curl;

But the dainty maid I deem

Very near perfection's dream.

Swift she works, and only flings

Me a glance—the least of things.

And I wonder, does she know

That my heart is in the dough?