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by Paul Laurence Dunbar

DEEP in my heart that aches with the re-
And strives with plenitude of bitter pain,
There lives a thought that clamors for ex-
And spends its undelivered force in vain.

What boots it that some other may have
thought it?
The right of thoughts' expression is divine;
The price of pain I pay for it has bought it,
I care not who lays claim to it--'t is mine!

And yet not mine until it be delivered;
The manner of its birth shall prove the test.
Alas, alas, my rock of pride is shivered--
I beat my brow--the thought still unex-

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