A Love Song – Paul Dunbar, 1913
A Love Song
Ah, love, my love is like a cry in the night,
A long, loud cry to the empty sky,
The cry of a man alone in the desert,
With hands uplifted, with parching lips,
Oh, rescue me, rescue me,
Thy form to mine arms,
The dew of thy lips to my mouth,
Dost thou hear me?—my call thro’ the night?
Darling, I hear thee and answer,
Thy fountain am I,
All of the love of my soul will I bring to thee,
All of the pains of my being shall wring to thee,
Deep and forever the song of my loving shall sing to thee,
Ever and ever thro’ day and thro’ night shall I cling to thee.
Hearest thou the answer?
Darling, I come, I come
A Love Song is a romantic poem that paints a deep
, essential need for one person by another. One of the most interesting things about this love poem is that it isn’t clear what the relationship is between the narrator and the loved one. Are they lovers? Have they separated? Has the loved one passed away? The poem is darkly but enticingly ambiguous.
What is clear is that the need for love is completely overwhelming. The narrator is like a man dying of thirst in the desert; the only thing that can save him is the mysterious lover at the poem’s heart. It’s difficult to decide if this love poem is sad or just passionate. Is she there? Can she hear him? Will she answer his cries