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Paul Laurence Dunbar


What dreams we have and how they fly

Like rosy clouds across the sky;

Of wealth, of fame, of sure success,

Of love that comes to cheer and bless;

And how they wither, how they fade,

The waning wealth, the jilting jade—

The fame that for a moment gleams,

Then flies forever,—dreams, ah—dreams!

O burning doubt and long regret,

O tears with which our eyes are wet,

Heart-throbs, heart-aches, the glut of pain,

The somber cloud, the bitter rain,

You were not of those dreams—ah! well,

Your full fruition who can tell?

Wealth, fame, and love, ah! love that beams

Upon our souls, all dreams—ah! dreams.