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


Phyllis

Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day,
    Few are my years, but my griefs are not few,
Ever to youth should each day be a May-day,
    Warm wind and rose-breath and diamonded dew—
Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day.

Oh for the sunlight that shines on a May-day!
    Only the cloud hangeth over my life.
Love that should bring me youth's happiest heyday
    Brings me but seasons of sorrow and strife;
Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day.

Sunshine or shadow, or gold day or gray day,
    Life must be lived as our destinies rule;
Leisure or labor or work day or play day—
    Feasts for the famous and fun for the fool;
Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

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: 1913-01-01

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