University of Virginia Library


To a Poet and a Lady

You sing, and the gift of State's applause
Is yours for the rune that is ringing.
But tell me truly, is that the cause?
Don't you sing for the love of singing?
You think you are working for wealth and for fame,
But ah, you are not, and you know it;
For wife is the sweetest and loveliest name,
And every good wife is a poet!

Written to Lida Keck Wiggins and published in The Life and Works of Paul Laurence Dunbar, ed. Lida Keck Wiggins (Naperville, Ill., and Memphis: J. L. Nichols Co., 1907), pp. 116–17.