Dead

written by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Dead

— Paul Laurence Dunbar

A KNOCK is at her door, but she is weak;
Strange dews have washed the paint streaks from her cheek;
She does not rise, but, ah, this friend is known,
And knows that he will find her all alone.
So opens he the door, and with soft tread
Goes straightway to the richly curtained bed.
His soft hand on her dewy head he lays.
A strange white light she gives him for his gaze.
Then, looking on the glory of her charms,
He crushes her resistless in his arms.
Stand back! look not upon this bold embrace,
Nor view the calmness of the wanton's face;
With joy unspeakable and 'bated breath,
She keeps her last, long liaison with death!

About the poet


Paul Laurence Dunbar

Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had escaped from slavery; his father was a veteran of the American Civil War, having served in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry Regiment. His parents instilled in him a love of learning and history. He was a student at an all-white high school, Dayton Central High School, and he participated actively as a student. During high school, he was both the editor of the school newspaper and class president, as well as the president of the school literary society. Dunbar had also started the first African-American newsletter in Dayton. He wrote his first poem at age 6 and gave his first public recital at age 9. Dunbar's...

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তোর বহির্মুখী দেহ, আদরক্লান্ত ঘামে, মুখপুড়ি মেছোমেয়ে
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অলংকার-টলংকার বেচে খেয়েছিস জানি । বাড়ির কাঠামো
দেখছি ঝুলে গেছে দশ বছর বাদে-বাদে কিস্তি দিতে-দিতে;
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অক্ষরের ধাঁচে জমে একেবারে টানটান আগাপাছতলা
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ব্যালেরিনা জুতোর আবডালে, ডারলিং, ঘামে-ভেজা
প্রণামের খাতিরে তুই কতরকমের ফাঁদ পেতে রেখেছিস !

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