The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar/If

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For works with similar titles, see If.

If life were but a dream, my Love,
  And death the waking time;
If day had not a beam, my Love,
  And night had not a rhyme,—
    A barren, barren world were this
    Without one saving gleam;
    I 'd only ask that with a kiss
    You 'd wake me from the dream.

If dreaming were the sum of days,
  And loving were the bane;
If battling for a wreath of bays
  Could soothe a heart in pain,—
    I 'd scorn the meed of battle's might,
    All other aims above
    I 'd choose the human's higher right,
    To suffer and to love!

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.