Three Dunbar Songs

Aurora image from Keller, Washington by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center licensed under CC BY 2.0
Aurora image from Keller, Washington by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center licensed under CC BY 2.0

Poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar
SSATTB Choir

 

Beyond the Years
Score Sample

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Hi, Oh, Miss Lady!
Score Sample

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Invitation to Love
Score Sample

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Beyond the Years

I.
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.
II.
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.
III.
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.

 

Hi, Oh, Miss Lady!
(originally titled The Capture)

Duck come switchin’ ’cross de lot
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!
Hurry up an’ hide de pot
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!
Duck’s a mighty ’spicious fowl,
Slick as snake an’ wise as owl;
Hol’ dat dog, don’t let him yowl!
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!

Th’ow dat co’n out kind o’ slow
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!
Keep yo’se’f behin’ de do’
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!
Lots o’ food’ll kill his feah,
Co’n is cheap but fowls is deah—­
“Come, good ducky, come on heah.”
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!

Ain’t he fat and ain’t he fine,
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!
Des can’t wait to make him mine.
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!
See him waddle when he walk,
’Sh! keep still and don’t you talk!
Got you!  Don’t you daih to squawk!
Hi, oh, Miss Lady!

 

Invitation to Love

Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or come when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene’er you may,
And you are welcome, welcome.
You are sweet, O Love, dear Love,
You are soft as the nesting dove.
Come to my heart and bring it to rest
As the bird flies home to its welcome nest.
Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling of the leaf
Or with the redd’ning cherry.
Come when the year’s first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter’s drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome.