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


I had not known before
  Forever was so long a word.
The slow stroke of the clock of time
  I had not heard.

'Tis hard to learn so late;
  It seems no sad heart really learns,
But hopes and trusts and doubts and fears,
  And bleeds and burns.

The night is not all dark,
  Nor is the day all it seems,
But each may bring me this relief—
  My dreams and dreams.

I had not known before
  That Never was so sad a word,
So wrap me in forgetfulness—
  I have not heard.

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