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Hurt Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Guarded Wound by Adelaide Crapsey
  2. Return by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  3. One Life by Laurence Dunbar

  1. The Guarded Wound

    by Adelaide Crapsey

    If it
    Were lighter touch
    Than petal of flower resting
    On grass, oh still too heavy it were,
    Too heavy!

  2. Return

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    You came again, but silence
    Had fallen on your heart,
    And in your eyes were visions
    That held us still apart.

    And now I go on hearing
    The words you did not say,
    And the kiss you did not give me
    Burns on my lips to-day.

  3. One Life

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    Oh, I am hurt to death, my Love;
    The shafts of Fate have pierced my striving heart,
    And I am sick and weary of
    The endless pain and smart.
    My soul is weary of the strife,
    And chafes at life, and chafes at life.

    Time mocks me with fair promises;
    A blooming future grows a barren past,
    Like rain my fair full-blossomed trees
    Unburden in the blast.
    The harvest fails on grain and tree,
    Nor comes to me, nor comes to me.

    The stream that bears my hopes abreast
    Turns ever from my way its pregnant tide.
    My laden boat, torn from its rest,
    Drifts to the other side.
    So all my hopes are set astray,
    And drift away, and drift away.

    The lark sings to me at the morn,
    And near me wings her skyward-soaring flight;
    But pleasure dies as soon as born,
    The owl takes up the night,
    And night seems long and doubly dark;
    I miss the lark, I miss the lark.

    Let others labor as they may,
    I'll sing and sigh alone, and write my line.
    Their fate is theirs, or grave or gay,
    And mine shall still be mine.
    I know the world holds joy and glee,
    But not for me, — 't is not for me.


    Time mocks me with fair promises;
    A blooming future grows a barren past,
    Like rain my fair full-blossomed trees
    Unburden in the blast.
    The harvest fails on grain and tree,
    Nor comes to me, nor comes to me.

    – Laurence Dunbar
    One Life