dunbar

The Old Apple Tree

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There’s a memory keeps a-runnin’
Through my weary head to-night,
An’ I see a picture dancin’
In the fire-flames’ ruddy-light;
‘Tis the picture of an orchard
Wrapped in autumn’s purple haze,
With the tender light about it
That I loved in other days.
An’ a-standin’ in a corner
Once again I seem to see
The verdant leaves an’ branches
Of an old apple-tree.
You perhaps would call it ugly,
An’ I don’t know but it’s so,
When you look the tree all over
Unadorned by memory’s glow;
For its boughs are gnarled an’ crooked,
An’ its leaves are gettin’ thin,
An’ the apples of its bearin’
Wouldn’t fill so large a bin
As they used to. But I tell you,
When it comes to pleasin’ me,
It’s the dearest in the orchard, —
Is that old apple-tree.
I would hide within its shelter,
Settlin’ in some cosy nook,
Where no calls nor threats could stir me
From the pages o’ my book.
Oh, that quiet, sweet seclusion
In its fulness passeth words!
It was deeper than the deepest
That my sanctum now affords.
Why, the jaybirds an’ the robins,
They was hand in glove with me,
As they winked at me ‘an warbled
In that old apple-tree.
It was on its sturdy branches
That in summers long ago
I would tie my swing an’ dangle
In contentment to an’ fro,
Idly dreaming’ childish fancies,
Buildin’ castles in the air,
Makin’ o’ myself a hero
Of romances rich an’ rare.
I kin shet my eyes an’ see it
Jest as plain as plain kin be,
That same old swing a-danglin’
To the old apple-tree.
There’s a rustic seat beneath it
That I never kin forget.
It’s the place where me an’ Hallie —
Little sweetheart — used to set,
When we’d wander to the orchard
So’s no listenin’ ones could hear
As I whispered sugared nonsense
Into her little willin’ ear.
Now my gray old wife is Hallie,
An’ I’m grayer still than she,
But I’ll not forget our courtin’
‘Neath the old apple-tree,
Life for us ain’t all been summer,
But I guess we’ve had our share
Of its flittin’ joys an’ pleasures,
An’ a sprinklin’ of its care.
Oft the skies have smiled upon us;
Then again we’ve seen ’em frown,
Though our load was ne’er so heavy
That we longed to lay it down.
But when death does come a-callin’,
This my last request shall be, —
That they’ll bury me an’ Hallie
‘Neath the old apple-tree.

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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27th June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1872 Paul Laurence Dunbar (poet & author)

pd

 

Died:

2001 Jack Lemmon (actor)

jl

 

On This Day:

1977 Djibouti claims independence (from France)

dj

 

Have a good Wednesday, 27th June

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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The Mystic Sea

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The smell of the sea in my nostrils,
The sound of the sea in mine ears;
The touch of the spray on my burning face,
Like the mist of reluctant tears.

The blue of the sky above me,
The green of the waves beneath;
The sun flashing down on a gray-white sail
Like a scimitar from its sheath.

And ever the breaking billows,
And ever the rocks’ disdain;
And ever a thrill in mine inmost heart
That my reason cannot explain.

So I say to my heart, ‘Be silent,
The mystery of time is here;
Death’s way will be plain when we fathom the main,
And the secret of life be clear.’

 

Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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The Fisher Child’s Lullaby

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The wind is out in its rage to-night,
And your father is far at sea.
The rime on the window is hard and white
But dear, you are near to me.
Heave ho, weave low,
Waves of the briny deep;
Seethe low and breathe low,
But sleep you, my little one, sleep, sleep.
The little boat rocks in the cove no more,
But the flying sea-gulls wail;
I peer through the darkness that wraps the shore,
For sight of a home set sail.
Heave ho, weave low,
Waves of the briny deep;
Seethe low and breathe low,
But sleep you, my little one, sleep, sleep.
Ay, lad of mine, thy father may die
In the gale that rides the sea,
But we’ll not believe it, not you and I,
Who mind us of Galilee.
Heave ho, weave low,
Waves of the briny deep;
Seethe low and breathe low,
But sleep you, my little one, sleep, sleep.

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

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The Old Homestead

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‘Tis an old deserted homestead
On the outskirts of the town,
Where the roof is all moss-covered,
And the walls are tumbling down;
But around that little cottage
Do my brightest mem’ries cling,
For ’twas there I spent the moments
Of my youth,–life’s happy spring.

I remember how I used to
Swing upon the old front gate,
While the robin in the tree tops
Sung a night song to his mate;
And how later in the evening,
As the beaux were wont to do,
Mr. Perkins, in the parlor,
Sat and sparked my sister Sue.

There my mother–heaven bless her!–
Kissed or spanked as was our need,
And by smile or stroke implanted
In our hearts fair virtue’s seed;
While my father, man of wisdom,
Lawyer keen, and farmer stout,
Argued long with neighbor Dobbins
How the corn crops would turn out.

Then the quiltings and the dances–
How my feet were wont to fly,
While the moon peeped through the barn chinks
From her stately place on high.
Oh, those days, so sweet, so happy,
Ever backward o’er me roll;
Still the music of that farm life
Rings an echo in my soul.

Now the old place is deserted,
And the walls are falling down;
All who made the home life cheerful,
Now have died or moved to town.
But about that dear old cottage
Shall my mem’ries ever cling,
For ’twas there I spent the moments
Of my, youth,–life’s happy spring.

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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a7

The Old Cabin

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In de dead of night I sometimes,
Git to t’inkin’ of de pas’
An’ de days w’en slavery helt me
In my mis’ry — ha’d an’ fas’.
Dough de time was mighty tryin’,
In dese houahs somehow hit seem
Dat a brightah light come slippin’
Thoo de kivahs of my dream.
An’ my min’ fu’gits de whuppins
Draps de feah o’ block an’ lash
An’ flies straight to somep’n’ joyful
In a secon’s lightnin’ flash.
Den hit seems I see a vision
Of a dearah long ago
Of de childern tumblin’ roun’ me
By my rough ol’ cabin do’.
Talk about yo’ go’geous mansions
An’ yo’ big house great an’ gran’,
Des bring up de fines’ palace
Dat you know in all de lan’.
But dey’s somep’n’ dearah to me,
Somep’n’ faihah to my eyes
In dat cabin, less you bring me
To yo’ mansion in de skies.
I kin see de light a-shinin’
Thoo de chinks atween de logs,
I kin hyeah de way-off bayin’
Of my mastah’s huntin’ dogs,
An’ de neighin’ of de hosses
Stampin’ on de ol’ bahn flo’,
But above dese soun’s de laughin’
At my deah ol’ cabin do’.
We would gethah daih at evenin’,
All my frien’s ‘ud come erroun’
An’ hit wan’t no time, twell, bless you,
You could hyeah de banjo’s soun’.
You could see de dahkies dancin’
Pigeon wing an’ heel an’ toe, —
Joyous times I tell you people
Roun’ dat same ol’ cabin do’.
But at times my t’oughts gits saddah,
Ez I riccolec’ de folks,
An’ dey frolickin’ an’ talkin’
Wid dey laughin’ an’ dey jokes.
An’ hit hu’ts me w’en I membahs
Dat I’ll nevah see no mo’
Dem ah faces gethered smilin’
Roun’ dat po’ ol’ cabin do’.

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

Please visit the above, and click out on a Google link – help me pay for the time it takes to makes these daily posts

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27th June – On This Day In History

Posted on Updated on

Born:

1872 Paul Laurence Dunbar (poet & author)

pd

 

Died:

2001 Jack Lemmon (actor)

jl

 

On This Day:

1981 Cambodia adopts its constitution

cb

 

Have a good Tuesday, 27th June

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

Please visit the above, and click out on a Google link – help me pay for the time it takes to makes these daily posts

Song Of Summer

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Dis is gospel weathah sho’ —
Hills is sawt o’ hazy.
Meddahs level ez a flo’
Callin’ to de lazy.
Sky all white wif streaks o’ blue,
Sunshine softly gleamin’,
D’ain’t no wuk hit’s right to do,
Nothin’ ‘s right but dreamin’.
Dreamin’ by de rivah side
Wif de watahs glist’nin’,
Feelin’ good an’ satisfied
Ez you lay a-list’nin’
To the little nakid boys
Splashin’ in de watah,
Hollerin’ fu’ to spress deir joys
Jes’ lak youngsters ought to.
Squir’l a-tippin’ on his toes,
So’s to hide an’ view you;
Whole flocks o’ camp-meetin’ crows
Shoutin’ hallelujah.
Peckahwood erpon de tree
Tappin’ lak a hammah;
Jaybird chattin’ wif a bee,
Tryin’ to teach him grammah.
Breeze is blowin’ wif perfume,
Jes’ enough to tease you;
Hollyhocks is all in bloom,
Smellin’ fu’ to please you.
Go ‘way, folks, an’ let me ‘lone,
Times is gettin’ dearah —
Summah’s settin’ on de th’one,
An’ I’m a-layin’ neah huh!

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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The Knight

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Our good knight, Ted, girds his broadsword on
(And he wields it well, I ween);
He ‘s on his steed, and away has gone
To the fight for king and queen.
What tho’ no edge the broadsword hath?
What tho’ the blade be made of lath?
‘T is a valiant hand
That wields the brand,
So, foeman, clear the path!

He prances off at a goodly pace;
‘T is a noble steed he rides,
That bears as well in the speedy race
As he bears in battle-tides.
What tho’ ‘t is but a rocking-chair
That prances with this stately air?
‘T is a warrior bold
The reins doth hold,
Who bids all foes beware!

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

Please visit the above, and click out on a Google link – help me pay for the time it takes to makes these daily posts

a4

The Old Apple Tree

Posted on Updated on

There’s a memory keeps a-runnin’
Through my weary head to-night,
An’ I see a picture dancin’
In the fire-flames’ ruddy-light;
‘Tis the picture of an orchard
Wrapped in autumn’s purple haze,
With the tender light about it
That I loved in other days.
An’ a-standin’ in a corner
Once again I seem to see
The verdant leaves an’ branches
Of an old apple-tree.
You perhaps would call it ugly,
An’ I don’t know but it’s so,
When you look the tree all over
Unadorned by memory’s glow;
For its boughs are gnarled an’ crooked,
An’ its leaves are gettin’ thin,
An’ the apples of its bearin’
Wouldn’t fill so large a bin
As they used to. But I tell you,
When it comes to pleasin’ me,
It’s the dearest in the orchard, —
Is that old apple-tree.
I would hide within its shelter,
Settlin’ in some cosy nook,
Where no calls nor threats could stir me
From the pages o’ my book.
Oh, that quiet, sweet seclusion
In its fulness passeth words!
It was deeper than the deepest
That my sanctum now affords.
Why, the jaybirds an’ the robins,
They was hand in glove with me,
As they winked at me ‘an warbled
In that old apple-tree.
It was on its sturdy branches
That in summers long ago
I would tie my swing an’ dangle
In contentment to an’ fro,
Idly dreaming’ childish fancies,
Buildin’ castles in the air,
Makin’ o’ myself a hero
Of romances rich an’ rare.
I kin shet my eyes an’ see it
Jest as plain as plain kin be,
That same old swing a-danglin’
To the old apple-tree.
There’s a rustic seat beneath it
That I never kin forget.
It’s the place where me an’ Hallie —
Little sweetheart — used to set,
When we’d wander to the orchard
So’s no listenin’ ones could hear
As I whispered sugared nonsense
Into her little willin’ ear.
Now my gray old wife is Hallie,
An’ I’m grayer still than she,
But I’ll not forget our courtin’
‘Neath the old apple-tree,
Life for us ain’t all been summer,
But I guess we’ve had our share
Of its flittin’ joys an’ pleasures,
An’ a sprinklin’ of its care.
Oft the skies have smiled upon us;
Then again we’ve seen ’em frown,
Though our load was ne’er so heavy
That we longed to lay it down.
But when death does come a-callin’,
This my last request shall be, —
That they’ll bury me an’ Hallie
‘Neath the old apple-tree.

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

Please visit the above, and click out on a Google link – help me pay for the time it takes to makes these daily posts

a3