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


Yesterday and To-morrow

Yesterday I held your hand,
Reverently I pressed it,
And its gentle yieldingness
From my soul I blessed it.

But to-day I sit alone,
Sad and sore repining;
Must our gold forever know
Flames for the refining?

Yesterday I walked with you,
Could a day be sweeter?
Life was all a lyric song
Set to tricksy meter.

Ah, to-day is like a dirge,—
Place my arms around you,
Let me feel the same dear joy
As when first I found you.

Let me once retrace my steps,
From these roads unpleasant,
Let my heart and mind and soul
All ignore the present.

Yesterday the iron seared
And to-day means sorrow.
Pause, my soul, arise, arise,
Look where gleams the morrow.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 16, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“Yesterday and To-morrow” originally appeared in Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow (Mead & Company, 1905).

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: 1905-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/yesterday-and-morrow