Ballade (Dunbar)

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Ballade
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
In the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar

             BALLADE

By Mystic's banks I held my dream.
  (I held my fishing rod as well,)
The vision was of dace and bream,
  A fruitless vision, sooth to tell.
  But round about the sylvan dell
Were other sweet Arcadian shrines,
  Gone now, is all the rural spell,
Arcadia has trolley lines.

Oh, once loved, sluggish, darkling stream,
  For me no more, thy waters swell,
Thy music now the engines' scream,
  Thy fragrance now the factory's smell;
  Too near for me the clanging bell;
A false light in the water shines
  While Solitude lists to her knell,—
Arcadia has trolley lines.

Thy wooded lanes with shade and gleam
  Where bloomed the fragrant asphodel,
Now bleak commercially teem
  With signs "To Let," "To Buy," "To Sell."
  And Commerce holds them fierce and fell;
With vulgar sport she now combines
  Sweet Nature's piping voice to quell.
Arcadia has trolley lines.

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.