Paul Laurence Dunbar


THE river sleeps beneath the sky,
    And clasps the shadows to its breast; 
The crescent moon shines dim on high;
    And in the lately radiant west 
        The gold is fading into gray. 
        Now stills the lark his festive lay, 
        And mourns with me the dying day.

While in the south the first faint star
    Lifts to the night its silver face, 
And twinkles to the moon afar
    Across the heaven's graying space, 
        Low murmurs reach me from the town, 
        As Day puts on her sombre crown, 
        And shakes her mantle darkly down. 

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