Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


By the Stream

By the stream I dream in calm delight, and watch as in a glass,
How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed
      maidens pass,
And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles as it spreads,
Like a host of armored knights with silver helmets on their heads.
And I deem the stream an emblem fit of human life may go,
For I find a mind may sparkle much and yet but shallows show,
And a soul may glow with myriad lights and wondrous mysteries,
When it only lies a dormant thing and mirrors what it sees.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

About this Poem


“By the Stream” was published in Dunbar’s book Lyrics of Lowly Life (Dodd, Mead, and Company 1896).

Author


Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar, born in 1872 and the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, was one of the first African American poets to gain national recognition.

Date Published: 2015-04-25

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/stream