African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Paul Laurence Dunbar, "Beyond the Years" (1908)

BEYOND the years the answer lies ,
   Beyond where brood the grieving skies
   And Night drops tears.
Where Faith rod-chastened smiles to rise
   And doff its fears,
And carping Sorrow pines and dies
   Beyond the years.

Beyond the years the prayer for rest
Shall beat no more within the breast;
   The darkness clears,
And Morn perched on the mountain's crest
   Her form uprears—
The day that is to come is best,
   Beyond the years .

Beyond the years the soul shall find
That endless peace for which it pined,
   For light appears,
And to the eyes that still were blind
    With blood and tears,
Their sight shall come all unconfined
   Beyond the years. 

Published in Colored American Magazine, January 1908

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