A Bridal Measure

A Bridal Measure
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

In the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar


Come, essay a sprightly measure,
Tuned to some light song of pleasure.
   Maidens, let your brows be crowned
   As we foot this merry round.

From the ground a voice is singing,
From the sod a soul is springing.
   Who shall say 't is but a clod
   Quick'ning upward toward its God?

Who shall say it? Who may know it,
That the clod is not a poet
   Waiting but a gleam to waken
   In a spirit music-shaken?

Phyllis, Phyllis, why be waiting?
In the woods the birds are mating.
   From the tree beside the wall,
   Hear the am'rous robin call.

Listen to yon thrush's trilling;
Phyllis, Phyllis, are you willing,
   When love speaks from cave and tree,
   Only we should silent be?

When the year, itself renewing,
All the world with flowers is strewing,
   Then through Youth's Arcadian land,
   Love and song go hand in hand.

Come, unfold your vocal treasure,
Sing with me a nuptial measure,—
   Let this springtime gambol be
   Bridal dance for you and me.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.