The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar/At Sunset Time


Adown the west a golden glow
  Sinks burning in the sea,
And all the dreams of long ago
  Come flooding back to me.
The past has writ a story strange
  Upon my aching heart,
But time has wrought a subtle change,
  My wounds have ceased to smart.

No more the quick delight of youth,
  No more the sudden pain,
I look no more for trust or truth
  Where greed may compass gain.
What, was it I who bared my heart
  Through unrelenting years,
And knew the sting of misery's dart,
  The tang of sorrow's tears?

'Tis better now, I do not weep,
  I do not laugh nor care;
My soul and spirit half asleep
  Drift aimless everywhere.
We float upon a sluggish stream,
  We ride no rapids mad,
While life is all a tempered dream
  And every joy half sad.

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