Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | November 1, 2013

A Poem for All Saints’ Day

Viola phalacrocarpa (200704)

“TO A VIOLET FOUND ON ALL SAINTS’ DAY”
Paul Laurence Dunbar

Belated wanderer of the ways of spring,
Lost in the chill of grim November rain,
Would I could read the message that you bring
And find in it the antidote for pain.

Does some sad spirit out beyond the day,
Far looking to the hours forever dead,
Send you a tender offering to lay
Upon the grave of us, the living dead?

Or does some brighter spirit, unforlorn,
Send you, my little sister of the wood,
To say to some one on a cloudful morn,
“Life lives through death, my brother, all is good?”

With meditative hearts the others go
The memory of their dead to dress anew.
But, sister mine, bide here that I may know,
Life grows, through death, as beautiful as you.

~~

Included in The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1913).

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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