University of Virginia Library

To Alice Dunbar

All the world is so sweet, dear
And matters so little to me—
You are the whole and the all, dear
The bride for eternity—


Life is so gray and so brief dear
And it is so hard to live
Why should we neighbor with grief, dear
Better to love and forgive.
E'en tho' I miss you today, dear
Miss you and pass like a breath—
Love is puissant in serving dear
Far past the portals of death.

Enclosed in a letter to Alice Dunbar dated February 2, 1903, Paul Laurence Dunbar Collection, series 8, box 22, OHS. Quoted by permission. (This letter is reproduced in Martin and Hudson's Paul Laurence Dunbar Reader.)