The Death Of The First Born

A poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Cover him over with daisies white
And eke with the poppies red,
Sit with me here by his couch to-night,
For the First-Born, Love, is dead.

Poor little fellow, he seemed so fair
As he lay in my jealous arms;
Silent and cold he is lying there
Stripped of his darling charms.

Lusty and strong he had grown forsooth,
Sweet with an infinite grace,
Proud in the force of his conquering youth,
Laughter alight in his face.

Oh, but the blast, it was cruel and keen,
And ah, but the chill it was rare;
The look of the winter-kissed flow'r you've seen
When meadows and fields were bare.

Can you not wake from this white, cold sleep
And speak to me once again?
True that your slumber is deep, so deep,
But deeper by far is my pain.

Cover him over with daisies white,
And eke with the poppies red,
Sit with me here by his couch to-night,
For the First-Born, Love, is dead.

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