Life (Video)


Media is loading

Publication Information

Published in Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896)

Performed by Herbert Woodward Martin

Musical Settings

Mary Elizabeth Turner Salter, Life (low voice and piano) (January 1916)

Herbert Haufrecht, Life (SATB chorus a cappella, or voice and piano) (May 2014)

Jean Berger, A Crust of Bread (voice, SATB chorus and instrumental ensemble)(January 1975)

Gary Bachlund, Life (low voice or medium voice and piano) (January 2009)

Zenobia Powell Perry, Life (Cycle of Songs on Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar)(January 2010)


A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in,
A minute to smile and an hour to weep in,
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble,
And never a laugh but the moans come double;
And that is life!

A crust and a corner that love makes precious,
With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us;
And joy seems sweeter when cares come after,
And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter;
And that is life!