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Poem by Alice Dunbar-Nelson



A swift, successive chain of things,
That flash, kaleidoscope-like, now in, now out,
Now straight, now eddying in wild rings,
No order, neither law, compels their moves,
But endless, constant, always swiftly roves.


Wild seas of tossing, writhing waves,
A wreck half-sinking in the tortuous gloom;
One man clings desperately, while Boreas raves,
And helps to blot the rays of moon and star,
Then comes a sudden flash of light, which gleams on shores afar.


A bed of roses, pleasing to the eye,
Flowers of heaven, passionate and pure,
Upon this bed the youthful often lie,
And pressing hard upon its sweet delight,
The cruel thorns pierce soul and heart, and cause a woeful blight.


A traveller who has always heard
That on this journey he some day must go,
Yet shudders now, when at the fatal word
He starts upon the lonesome, dreary way.
The past, a page of joy and woe,the future, none can say.


Blind clinging to a stern, stone cross,
Or it may be of frailer make;
Eyes shut, ears closed to earth's drear dross,
Immovable, serene, the world away
From thoughtsthe mind uncaring for another day.

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Alice Dunbar-Nelson's other poems:
  1. Paul to Virginia
  2. Amid the Roses
  3. Chalmetle
  4. Three Thoughts
  5. If I Had Known

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Oscar Wilde Impressions ("The sea is flecked with bars of grey")

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