The Debt

A poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

This is the debt I pay
Just for one riotous day,
Years of regret and grief,
Sorrow without relief.

Pay it I will to the end--
Until the grave, my friend,
Gives me a true release--
Gives me the clasp of peace.

Slight was the thing I bought,
Small was the debt I thought,
Poor was the loan at best--
God! but the interest!

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