Lucian B. Watkins, "Paul Laurence Dunbar: Lines Written Upon the Death of This Sweet Poet-Singer" (1907)
LINES WRITTEN UPON THE DEATH OF THIS SWEET POET-SINGER
We were afraid that you would soon be borne away
Upon the sweet endearing breathings of your heart!
We were afraid that you would soon forget to stay
And give to life your lofty, soulful missioned part!
Too true! but — ah! the jeweled breaths with which you sang —
That blew in their soft whispers o'er the tender strings
Of human hearts, the sweet aeolian sounds that rang
An echo as if blown from heaven's angels' wings —
Still linger in the ethics of our souls! Then must
We say you're dead? and can we ever for you weep ?
Ah, no! amid the sacred halo o'er your dust.
We listen to your echoed- breathing while you sleep!