Today's Beautiful Gem: `I know why the caged
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
"I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals--
I know what the caged bird feels.
"I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting--
I know why he beats his wing.
"I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,--
When he beats his bars and would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to heaven, he flings--
I know why the caged bird sings!"
Note: Dunbar was Black America's first nationally known poet.
Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao