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Paul Laurence Dunbar


I grew a rose within a garden fair,

And, tending it with more than loving care,

I thought how, with the glory of its bloom,

I should the darkness of my life illume;

And, watching, ever smiled to see the lusty bud

Drink freely in the summer sun to tinct its blood.

My rose began to open, and its hue

Was sweet to me as to it sun and dew;

I watched it taking on its ruddy flame

Until the day of perfect blooming came,

Then hasted I with smiles to find it blushing red—

Too late! Some thoughtless child had plucked my rose and fled!


I grew a rose once more to please mine eyes.

All things to aid it—dew, sun, wind, fair skies

Were kindly; and to shield it from despoil,