One of the first nationally known African American poets Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote the inspirational piece “After While”. Speaking about anxiety, the verse was written to encourage and serve as a reminder that when everything feels like its going wrong, it is important to seek out the light at the end of the tunnel.
I think that though the clouds be dark,
That though the waves dash o’er the bark,
Yet after while the light will come,
And in calm waters safe at home
The bark will anchor.
Weep not, my sad-eyed, gray-robed maid,
Because your fairest blossoms fade,
That sorrow still o’erruns your cup,
And even though you root them up,
The weeds grow ranker.
For after while your tears shall cease,
And sorrow shall give way to peace;
The flowers shall bloom, the weeds shall die,
And in that faith seen, by and by
Thy woes shall perish.
Smile at old Fortune’s adverse tide,
Smile when the scoffers sneer and chide.
Oh, not for you the gems that pale,
And not for you the flowers that fail;
Let this thought cherish:
That after while the clouds will part,
And then with joy the waiting heart
Shall feel the light come stealing in,
That drives away the cloud of sin
And breaks its power.
And you shall burst your chrysalis,
And wing away to realms of bliss,
Untrammelled, pure, divinely free,
Above all earth’s anxiety
From that same hour.
Feature: eWalter at flikr, Creative Commons