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The Book of American Negro Poetry by Edited by James Weldon Johnson

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From a vision red with war I awoke and saw the Prince
of Peace hovering over No Man's Land.
Loud the whistles blew and the thunder of cannon was
drowned by the happy shouting of the people.
From the Sinai that faces Armageddon I heard this chant
from the throats of white-robed angels:

Blow your trumpets, little children!
From the East and from the West,
From the cities in the valley,
From God's dwelling on the mountain,
Blow your blast that Peace might know
She is Queen of God's great army.
With the crying blood of millions
We have written deep her name
In the Book of all the Ages;
With the lilies in the valley,
With the roses by the Mersey,
With the golden flower of Jersey
We have crowned her smooth young temples.
Where her footsteps cease to falter
Golden grain will greet the morning,
Where her chariot descends
Shall be broken down the altars
Of the gods of dark disturbance.
Nevermore shall men know suffering,
Nevermore shall women wailing
Shake to grief the God of Heaven.
From the East and from the West,
From the cities in the valley,
From God's dwelling on the mountain,
Little children, blow your trumpets!

From Ethiopia, groaning 'neath her heavy burdens, I
heard the music of the old slave songs.
I heard the wail of warriors, dusk brown, who grimly
fought the fight of others in the trenches of Mars.
I heard the plea of blood-stained men of dusk and the
crimson in my veins leapt furiously.

Forget not, O my brothers, how we fought
In No Man's Land that peace might come again!
Forget not, O my brothers, how we gave
Red blood to save the freedom of the world!
We were not free, our tawny hands were tied;
But Belgium's plight and Serbia's woes we shared
Each rise of sun or setting of the moon.
So when the bugle blast had called us forth
We went not like the surly brute of yore
But, as the Spartan, proud to give the world
The freedom that we never knew nor shared.
These chains, O brothers mine, have weighed us down
As Samson in the temple of the gods;
Unloosen them and let us breathe the air
That makes the goldenrod the flower of Christ.
For we have been with thee in No Man's Land,
Through lake of fire and down to Hell itself;
And now we ask of thee our liberty,
Our freedom in the land of Stars and Stripes.

I am glad that the Prince of Peace is hovering over No Man's Land.


I am tired of work; I am tired of building up somebody else's

Let us take a rest, M'Lissy Jane.

I will go down to the Last Chance Saloon, drink a gallon or two of gin,
shoot a game or two of dice and sleep the rest of the night on one of
Mike's barrels.

You will let the old shanty go to rot, the white people's clothes turn to
dust, and the Calvary Baptist Church sink to the bottomless pit.

You will spend your days forgetting you married me and your nights hunting
the warm gin Mike serves the ladies in the rear of the Last Chance Saloon.

Throw the children into the river; civilization has given us too many. It
is better to die than it is to grow up and find out that you are colored.

Pluck the stars out of the heavens. The stars mark our destiny. The stars
marked my destiny.

I am tired of civilization.


There is music in me, the music of a peasant people.
I wander through the levee, picking my banjo and singing
my songs of the cabin and the field. At the
Last Chance Saloon I am as welcome as the violets
in March; there is always food and drink for me
there, and the dimes of those who love honest music.
Behind the railroad tracks the little children clap
their hands and love me as they love Kris Kringle.

But I fear that I am a failure. Last night a woman
called me a troubadour. What is a troubadour?


Once I was good like the Virgin Mary and the Minister's wife.

My father worked for Mr. Pullman and white people's tips; but he died two
days after his insurance expired.

I had nothing, so I had to go to work.

All the stock I had was a white girl's education and a face that enchanted
the men of both races.

Starvation danced with me.

So when Big Lizzie, who kept a house for white men, came to me with tales
of fortune that I could reap from the sale of my virtue I bowed my head to

Now I can drink more gin than any man for miles around.

Gin is better than all the water in Lethe.

R. Nathaniel Dett


Staccato! Staccato!
Leggier agitato!
In and out does the melody twist--
Unique proposition
Is this composition.
(Alas! for the player who hasn't the wrist!)
Now in the dominant
Theme ringing prominent,
Bass still repeating its one monotone,
Double notes crying,
Up keyboard go flying,
The change to the minor comes in like a groan.
Without a cessation
A chaste modulation
Hastens adown to subdominant key,
Where melody mellow-like
Singing so 'cello-like
Rises and falls in a wild ecstasy.
Scarce is this finished
When chords all diminished
Break loose in a patter that comes down like rain,
A pedal-point wonder
Rivaling thunder.
Now all is mad agitation again.
Like laughter jolly
Begins the finale;
Again does the 'cello its tones seem to lend
Diminuendo ad molto crescendo.
Ah! Rubinstein only could make such an end!

Georgia Douglas Johnson


The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
Afar o'er life's turrets and vales does it roam
In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.

The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
And enters some alien cage in its plight,
And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars.


The dew is on the grasses, dear,
The blush is on the rose,
And swift across our dial-youth,
A shifting shadow goes.

The primrose moments, lush with bliss,
Exhale and fade away,
Life may renew the Autumn time,
But nevermore the May!


Oh, for the veils of my far away youth,
Shielding my heart from the blaze of the truth,
Why did I stray from their shelter and grow
Into the sadness that follows--to know!

Impotent atom with desolate gaze
Threading the tumult of hazardous ways--
Oh, for the veils, for the veils of my youth
Veils that hung low o'er the blaze of the truth!


I want to die while you love me,
While yet you hold me fair,
While laughter lies upon my lips
And lights are in my hair.

I want to die while you love me,
And bear to that still bed,
Your kisses turbulent, unspent
To warm me when I'm dead.

I want to die while you love me
Oh, who would care to live
Till love has nothing more to ask
And nothing more to give!

I want to die while you love me
And never, never see
The glory of this perfect day
Grow dim or cease to be.


Would I might mend the fabric of my youth
That daily flaunts its tatters to my eyes,
Would I might compromise awhile with truth
Until our moon now waxing, wanes and dies.

For I would go a further while with you,
And drain this cup so tantalant and fair
Which meets my parched lips like cooling dew,
Ere time has brushed cold fingers thru my hair!


I'm folding up my little dreams
Within my heart to-night,
And praying I may soon forget
The torture of their sight.

For Time's deft fingers scroll my brow
With fell relentless art--
I'm folding up my little dreams
To-night, within my heart!

Claude McKay


His spirit in smoke ascended to high heaven.
His father, by the crudest way of pain,
Had bidden him to his bosom once again;
The awful sin remained still unforgiven.
All night a bright and solitary star
(Perchance the one that ever guided him,
Yet gave him up at last to Fate's wild whim)
Hung pitifully o'er the swinging char.
Day dawned, and soon the mixed crowds came to view
The ghastly body swaying in the sun:
The women thronged to look, but never a one
Showed sorrow in her eyes of steely blue;
And little lads, lynchers that were to be,
Danced round the dreadful thing in fiendish glee.


If we must die--let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die--oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us still be brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but--fighting back!


Think you I am not fiend and savage too?
Think you I could not arm me with a gun
And shoot down ten of you for every one
Of my black brothers murdered, burnt by you?
Be not deceived, for every deed you do
I could match--out-match: am I not Africa's son,
Black of that black land where black deeds are done?

But the Almighty from the darkness drew
My soul and said: Even thou shalt be a light
Awhile to burn on the benighted earth,
Thy dusky face I set among the white
For thee to prove thyself of highest worth;
Before the world is swallowed up in night,
To show thy little lamp: go forth, go forth!


Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway;
Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes
Blown by black players upon a picnic day.
She sang and danced on gracefully and calm,
The light gauze hanging loose about her form;
To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm
Grown lovelier for passing through a storm.
Upon her swarthy neck black, shiny curls
Profusely fell; and, tossing coins in praise,
The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys, and even the girls,
Devoured her with their eager, passionate gaze;
But, looking at her falsely-smiling face
I knew her self was not in that strange place.


I hear the halting footsteps of a lass
In Negro Harlem when the night lets fall
Its veil. I see the shapes of girls who pass
Eager to heed desire's insistent call:
Ah, little dark girls, who in slippered feet
Go prowling through the night from street to street.

Through the long night until the silver break
Of day the little gray feet know no rest,
Through the lone night until the last snow-flake
Has dropped from heaven upon the earth's white breast,
The dusky, half-clad girls of tired feet
Are trudging, thinly shod, from street to street.

Ah, stern harsh world, that in the wretched way
Of poverty, dishonor and disgrace,
Has pushed the timid little feet of clay.
The sacred brown feet of my fallen race!
Ah, heart of me, the weary, weary feet
In Harlem wandering from street to street.


Some day, when trees have shed their leaves,
And against the morning's white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We'll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire the shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a lonely nest
Beside an open glade,
And there forever will we rest,
O love--O nut-brown maid!


Too green the springing April grass,
Too blue the silver speckled sky,
For me to linger here, alas,
While happy winds go laughing by,
Wasting the golden hours indoors,
Washing windows and scrubbing floors.

Too wonderful the April night,
Too faintly sweet the first May flowers,
The stars too gloriously bright,
For me to spend the evening hours,
When fields are fresh and streams are leaping,
Wearied, exhausted, dully sleeping.


O whisper, O my soul!--the afternoon
Is waning into evening--whisper soft!
Peace, O my rebel heart! for soon the moon
From out its misty veil will swing aloft!
Be patient, weary body, soon the night
Will wrap thee gently in her sable sheet,
And with a leaden sigh thou wilt invite
To rest thy tired hands and aching feet.
The wretched day was theirs, the night is mine;
Come, tender sleep, and fold me to thy breast.
But what steals out the gray clouds red like wine?
O dawn! O dreaded dawn! O let me rest!
Weary my veins, my brain, my life,--have pity!
No! Once again the hard, the ugly city.


I must not gaze at them although
Your eyes are dawning day;
I must not watch you as you go
Your sun-illumined way;

I hear but I must never heed
The fascinating note,
Which, fluting like a river-reed,
Comes from your trembling throat;

I must not see upon your face
Love's softly glowing spark;
For there's the barrier of race,
You're fair and I am dark.

TO O. E. A.

Your voice is the color of a robin's breast,
And there's a sweet sob in it like rain--still rain in the night.
Among the leaves of the trumpet-tree, close to his nest,
The pea-dove sings, and each note thrills me with strange delight
Like the words, wet with music, that well from your trembling throat.
I'm afraid of your eyes, they're so bold,
Searching me through, reading my thoughts, shining like gold.
But sometimes they are gentle and soft like the dew on the lips of the
Before the sun comes warm with his lover's kiss,
You are sea-foam, pure with the star's loveliness,
Not mortal, a flower, a fairy, too fair for the beauty-shorn earth,
All wonderful things, all beautiful things, gave of their wealth to your
O I love you so much, not recking of passion, that I feel it is wrong,
But men will love you, flower, fairy, non-mortal spirit burdened with
Forever, life-long.


So much have I forgotten in ten years,
So much in ten brief years; I have forgot
What time the purple apples come to juice
And what month brings the shy forget-me-not;
Forgotten is the special, startling season
Of some beloved tree's flowering and fruiting,
What time of year the ground doves brown the fields
And fill the noonday with their curious fluting:
I have forgotten much, but still remember
The poinsettia's red, blood-red in warm December.

I still recall the honey-fever grass,
But I cannot bring back to mind just when
We rooted them out of the ping-wing path
To stop the mad bees in the rabbit pen.
I often try to think in what sweet month
The languid painted ladies used to dapple
The yellow bye road mazing from the main,
Sweet with the golden threads of the rose-apple:
I have forgotten, strange, but quite remember
The poinsettia's red, blood-red in warm December.

What weeks, what months, what time o' the mild year
We cheated school to have our fling at tops?
What days our wine-thrilled bodies pulsed with joy
Feasting upon blackberries in the copse?
Oh, some I know! I have embalmed the days,
Even the sacred moments, when we played,
All innocent of passion uncorrupt,
At noon and evening in the flame-heart's shade:
We were so happy, happy,--I remember
Beneath the poinsettia's red in warm December.


Merry voices chatterin',
Nimble feet dem patterin',
Big an' little, faces gay,
Happy day dis market day.

Sateday, de marnin' break,
Soon, soon market-people wake;
An' de light shine from de moon
While dem boy, wid pantaloon
Roll up ober dem knee-pan,
'Tep across de buccra lan'
To de pastur whe' de harse
Feed along wid de jackass,
An' de mule cant' in de track
Wid him tail up in him back,
All de ketchin' to defy,
No ca' how dem boy might try.

In de early marnin'-tide,
When de cocks crow on de hill
An' de stars are shinin' still,
Mirrie by de fireside
Hots de coffee for de lads
Comin' ridin' on de pads
T'rown across dem animul--
Donkey, harse too, an' de mule,
Which at last had come do'n cool.
On de bit dem hol' dem full:
Racin' ober pastur' lan',
See dem comin' ebery man,
Comin' fe de steamin' tea
Ober hilly track an' lea.

Hard-wuk'd donkey on de road
Trottin' wid him ushal load,
Hamper pack' wi' yam an' grain,
Sour-sop, and Gub'nor cane.

Cous' Sun sits in hired dray,
Drivin' 'long de market way;
Whole week grindin' sugar cane
T'rough de boilin' sun an' rain,
Now, a'ter de toilin' hard,
He goes seekin' his reward,
While he's thinkin' in him min'
Of de dear ones lef behin',
Of de loved though ailin' wife,
Darlin' treasure of his life,
An' de picknies, six in all,
Whose 'nuff burdens 'pon him fall:
Seben lovin' ones in need,
Seben hungry mouths fe feed;
On deir wants he thinks alone,
Neber dreamin' of his own,
But gwin' on wid joyful face
Till him re'ch de market-place.

Sugar bears no price to-day,
Though it is de mont' o' May,
When de time is hellish hot,
An' de water cocoanut
An' de cane bebridge is nice,
Mix' up wid a lilly ice.
Big an' little, great an' small,
Afou yam is all de call;
Sugar tup an' gill a quart,
Yet de people hab de heart
Wantin' brater top o' i',
Want de sweatin' higgler fe
Ram de pan an' pile i' up,
Yet sell i' fe so-so tup.

Cousin Sun is lookin' sad,
As de market is so bad;
'Pon him han' him res' him chin,
Quietly sit do'n thinkin'
Of de loved wife sick in bed,
An' de children to be fed--
What de laborers would say
When dem know him couldn' pay;
Also what about de mill
Whe' him hire from ole Bill;
So him think, an' think on so,
Till him t'oughts no more could go.

Then he got up an' began
Pickin' up him sugar-pan:
In his ears rang t'rough de din
"Only two-an'-six a tin'."
What a tale he'd got to tell,
How bad, bad de sugar sell!
Tekin' out de lee amount,
Him set do'n an' begin count
All de time him min' deh doubt
How expenses would pay out;
Ah, it gnawed him like de ticks,
Sugar sell fe two-an'-six!

So he journeys on de way,
Feelinl sad dis market day;
No e'en buy a little cake
To gi'e baby when she wake,--
Passin' 'long de candy-shop
'Douten eben mek a stop
To buy drops fe las'y son,
For de lilly cash nea' done.
So him re'ch him own a groun',
An' de children scamper roun',
Each one stretchin' out him han',
Lookin' to de poor sad man.

Oh, how much he felt de blow,
As he watched dem face fall low,
When dem wait an' nuttin' came
An' drew back deir han's wid shame!
But de sick wife kissed his brow:
"Sun, don't get down-hearted now;
Ef we only pay expense
We mus' wuk we common-sense,
Cut an' carve, an' carve an' cut,
Mek gill sarbe fe quattiewut;
We mus' try mek two ends meet
Neber mind how hard be it.
We won't mind de haul an' pull,
While dem pickny belly full."

An' de shadow lef' him face,
An' him felt an inward peace,
As he blessed his better part
For her sweet an' gentle heart:
"Dear one o' my heart, my breat',
Won't I lub you to de deat'?
When my heart is weak an' sad,
Who but you can mek it glad?"

So dey kissed an' kissed again,
An' deir t'oughts were not on pain,
But was 'way down in de sout'
Where dey'd wedded in deir yout',
In de marnin' of deir life
Free from all de grief an' strife,
Happy in de marnin' light,
Never thinkin' of de night.

So dey k'lated eberyt'ing;
An' de profit it could bring,
A'ter all de business fix',
Was a princely two-an'-six.

Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.


As I lie in bed,
Flat on my back;
There passes across my ceiling
An endless panorama of things--
Quick steps of gay-voiced children,
Adolescence in its wondering silences,
Maid and man on moonlit summer's eve,
Women in the holy glow of Motherhood,
Old men gazing silently thru the twilight
Into the beyond.
O God, give me words to make my dream-children live.


Brother, come!
And let us go unto our God.
And when we stand before Him
I shall say--
"Lord, I do not hate,
I am hated.
I scourge no one,
I am scourged.
I covet no lands,
My lands are coveted.
I mock no peoples,
My people are mocked."
And, brother, what shall you say?


Why do men smile when I speak,
And call my speech
The whimperings of a babe
That cries but knows not what it wants?
Is it because I am black?

Why do men sneer when I arise
And stand in their councils,
And look them eye to eye,
And speak their tongue?
Is it because I am black?


The band of Gideon roam the sky,
The howling wind is their war-cry,
The thunder's roll is their trump's peal,
And the lightning's flash their vengeful steel.
Each black cloud
Is a fiery steed.
And they cry aloud
With each strong deed,
"The sword of the Lord and Gideon."

And men below rear temples high
And mock their God with reasons why,
And live in arrogance, sin and shame,
And rape their souls for the world's good name.
Each black cloud
Is a fiery steed.
And they cry aloud
With each strong deed,
"The sword of the Lord and Gideon."

The band of Gideon roam the sky
And view the earth with baleful eye;
In holy wrath they scourge the land
With earth-quake, storm and burning brand.
Each black cloud
Is a fiery steed.
And they cry aloud
With each strong deed,
"The sword of the Lord and Gideon."

The lightnings flash and the thunders roll,
And "Lord have mercy on my soul,"
Cry men as they fall on the stricken sod,
In agony searching for their God.
Each black cloud
Is a fiery steed.
And they cry aloud
With each strong deed,
"The sword of the Lord and Gideon."

And men repent and then forget
That heavenly wrath they ever met,
The band of Gideon yet will come
And strike their tongues of blasphemy dumb.
Each black cloud
Is a fiery steed.
And they cry aloud
With each strong deed,
"The sword of the Lord and Gideon."


On the dusty earth-drum
Beats the falling rain;
Now a whispered murmur,
Now a louder strain.

Slender, silvery drumsticks,
On an ancient drum,
Beat the mellow music
Bidding life to come.

Chords of earth awakened,
Notes of greening spring,
Rise and fall triumphant
Over every thing.

Slender, silvery drumsticks
Beat the long tattoo--
God, the Great Musician,
Calling life anew.


I am so tired and weary,
So tired of the endless fight,
So weary of waiting the dawn
And finding endless night.

That I ask but rest and quiet--
Rest for days that are gone,
And quiet for the little space
That I must journey on.

Roscoe C. Jamison


These truly are the Brave,
These men who cast aside
Old memories, to walk the blood-stained pave
Of Sacrifice, joining the solemn tide
That moves away, to suffer and to die
For Freedom--when their own is yet denied!
O Pride! O Prejudice! When they pass by,
Hail them, the Brave, for you now crucified!

These truly are the Free,
These souls that grandly rise
Above base dreams of vengeance for their wrongs,
Who march to war with visions in their eyes
Of Peace through Brotherhood, lifting glad songs,
Aforetime, while they front the firing line.
Stand and behold! They take the field to-day,
Shedding their blood like Him now held divine,
That those who mock might find a better way!

Jessie Fauset


On summer afternoons I sit
Quiescent by you in the park,
And idly watch the sunbeams gild
And tint the ash-trees' bark.

Or else I watch the squirrels frisk
And chaffer in the grassy lane;
And all the while I mark your voice
Breaking with love and pain.

I know a woman who would give
Her chance of heaven to take my place;
To see the love-light in your eyes,
The love-glow on your face!

And there's a man whose lightest word
Can set my chilly blood afire;
Fulfilment of his least behest
Defines my life's desire.

But he will none of me, Nor I
Of you. Nor you of her. 'Tis said
The world is full of jests like these.--
I wish that I were dead.


Oh little Christ, why do you sigh
As you look down to-night
On breathless France, on bleeding France,
And all her dreadful plight?
What bows your childish head so low?
What turns your cheek so white?

Oh little Christ, why do you moan,
What is it that you see
In mourning France, in martyred France,
And her great agony?
Does she recall your own dark day,
Your own Gethsemane?

Oh little Christ, why do you weep,
Why flow your tears so sore
For pleading France, for praying France,
A suppliant at God's door?
"God sweetened not my cup," you say,
"Shall He for France do more?"

Oh little Christ, what can this mean,
Why must this horror be
For fainting France, for faithful France,
And her sweet chivalry?
"I bled to free all men," you say
"France bleeds to keep men free."

Oh little, lovely Christ--you smile!
What guerdon is in store
For gallant France, for glorious France,
And all her valiant corps?
"Behold I live, and France, like me,
Shall live for evermore."


If this is peace, this dead and leaden thing,
Then better far the hateful fret, the sting.
Better the wound forever seeking balm
Than this gray calm!

Is this pain's surcease? Better far the ache,
The long-drawn dreary day, the night's white wake,
Better the choking sigh, the sobbing breath
Than passion's death!


"I can remember when I was a little, young girl, how my old mammy would
sit out of doors in the evenings and look up at the stars and groan, and I
would say, 'Mammy, what makes you groan so?' And she would say, 'I am
groaning to think of my poor children; they do not know where I be and I
don't know where they be. I look up at the stars and they look up at the
stars!'"--_Sojourner Truth_.

I think I see her sitting bowed and black,
Stricken and seared with slavery's mortal scars,
Reft of her children, lonely, anguished, yet
Still looking at the stars.

Symbolic mother, we thy myriad sons,
Pounding our stubborn hearts on Freedom's bars,
Clutching our birthright, fight with faces set,
Still visioning the stars!


_From the French of Massillon Coicou (Haiti)_

I hope when I am dead that I shall lie
In some deserted grave--I cannot tell you why,
But I should like to sleep in some neglected spot
Unknown to every one, by every one forgot.

There lying I should taste with my dead breath
The utter lack of life, the fullest sense of death;
And I should never hear the note of jealousy or hate,
The tribute paid by passersby to tombs of state.

To me would never penetrate the prayers and tears
That futilely bring torture to dead and dying ears;
There I should lie annihilate and my dead heart would bless
Oblivion--the shroud and envelope of happiness.

Anne Spencer


Garden of Shushan!
After Eden, all terrace, pool, and flower recollect thee:
Ye weavers in saffron and haze and Tyrian purple,
Tell yet what range in color wakes the eye;
Sorcerer, release the dreams born here when
Drowsy, shifting palm-shade enspells the brain;
And sound! ye with harp and flute ne'er essay
Before these star-noted birds escaped from paradise awhile to
Stir all dark, and dear, and passionate desire, till mine
Arms go out to be mocked by the softly kissing body of the wind--
Slave, send Vashti to her King!

The fiery wattles of the sun startle into flame
The marbled towers of Shushan:
So at each day's wane, two peers--the one in
Heaven, the other on earth--welcome with their
Splendor the peerless beauty of the Queen.

Cushioned at the Queen's feet and upon her knee
Finding glory for mine head,--still, nearly shamed
Am I, the King, to bend and kiss with sharp
Breath the olive-pink of sandaled toes between;
Or lift me high to the magnet of a gaze, dusky,
Like the pool when but the moon-ray strikes to its depth;
Or closer press to crush a grape 'gainst lips redder
Than the grape, a rose in the night of her hair;
Then--Sharon's Rose in my arms.

And I am hard to force the petals wide;
And you are fast to suffer and be sad.
Is any prophet come to teach a new thing
Now in a more apt time?
Have him 'maze how you say love is sacrament;
How says Vashti, love is both bread and wine;
How to the altar may not come to break and drink,
Hulky flesh nor fleshly spirit!

I, thy lord, like not manna for meat as a Judahn;
I, thy master, drink, and red wine, plenty, and when
I thirst. Eat meat, and full, when I hunger.
I, thy King, teach you and leave you, when I list.
No woman in all Persia sets out strange action
To confuse Persia's lord--
Love is but desire and thy purpose fulfillment;
I, thy King, so say!


Gay little Girl-of-the-Diving-Tank,
I desire a name for you,
Nice, as a right glove fits;
For you--who amid the malodorous
Mechanics of this unlovely thing,
Are darling of spirit and form.
I know you--a glance, and what you are
Sits-by-the-fire in my heart.
My Limousine-Lady knows you, or
Why does the slant-envy of her eye mark
Your straight air and radiant inclusive smile?
Guilt pins a fig-leaf; Innocence is its own adorning.
The bull-necked man knows you--this first time
His itching flesh sees form divine and vibrant health
And thinks not of his avocation.
I came incuriously--
Set on no diversion save that my mind
Might safely nurse its brood of misdeeds
In the presence of a blind crowd.
The color of life was gray.
Everywhere the setting seemed right
For my mood.
Here the sausage and garlic booth
Sent unholy incense skyward;
There a quivering female-thing
Gestured assignations, and lied
To call it dancing;
There, too, were games of chance
With chances for none;
But oh! Girl-of-the-Tank, at last!
Gleaming Girl, how intimately pure and free
The gaze you send the crowd,
As though you know the dearth of beauty
In its sordid life.
We need you--my Limousine-Lady,
The bull-necked man and I.
Seeing you here brave and water-clean,
Leaven for the heavy ones of earth,
I am swift to feel that what makes
The plodder glad is good; and
Whatever is good is God.
The wonder is that you are here;
I have seen the queer in queer places,
But never before a heaven-fed
Naiad of the Carnival-Tank!
Little Diver, Destiny for you,
Like as for me, is shod in silence;
Years may seep into your soul
The bacilli of the usual and the expedient;
I implore Neptune to claim his child to-day!


Maker-of-Sevens in the scheme of things
From earth to star;
Thy cycle holds whatever is fate, and
Over the border the bar.
Though rank and fierce the mariner
Sailing the seven seas,
He prays, as he holds his glass to his eyes,
Coaxing the Pleiades.

I cannot love them; and I feel your glad
Chiding from the grave,
That my all was only worth at all, what
Joy to you it gave.
These seven links the _Law_ compelled
For the human chain--
I cannot love _them_; and _you_, oh,
Seven-fold months in Flanders slain!

A jungle there, a cave here, bred six
And a million years,
Sure and strong, mate for mate, such
Love as culture fears;
I gave you clear the oil and wine;
You saved me your hob and hearth--
See how _even_ life may be ere the
Sickle comes and leaves a swath.

But I can wait the seven of moons,
Or years I spare,
Hoarding the heart's plenty, nor spend
A drop, nor share--
So long but outlives a smile and
A silken gown;
Then gaily I reach up from my shroud,
And you, glory-clad, reach down.


We trekked into a far country,
My friend and I.
Our deeper content was never spoken,
But each knew all the other said.
He told me how calm his soul was laid
By the lack of anvil and strife.
"The wooing kestrel," I said, "mutes his mating-note
To please the harmony of this sweet silence."
And when at the day's end
We laid tired bodies 'gainst
The loose warm sands,
And the air fleeced its particles for a coverlet;
When star after star came out
To guard their lovers in oblivion--
My soul so leapt that my evening prayer
Stole my morning song!


Ah, how poets sing and die!
Make one song and Heaven takes it;
Have one heart and Beauty breaks it;
Chatterton, Shelley, Keats and I--
Ah, how poets sing and die!

Alex Rogers


"I heeard da ole folks talkin' in our house da other night
'Bout Adam in da scripchuh long ago.
Da lady folks all 'bused him, sed, he knowed it wus'n right
An' 'cose da men folks dey all sed, "Dat's so."
I felt sorry fuh Mistuh Adam, an' I felt like puttin' in,
'Cause I knows mo' dan dey do, all 'bout whut made Adam sin:

Adam nevuh had no Mammy, fuh to take him on her knee
An' teach him right fum wrong an' show him
Things he ought to see.
I knows down in my heart--he'd-a let dat apple be
But Adam nevuh had no dear old Ma-am-my.

He nevuh knowed no chilehood roun' da ole log cabin do',
He nevuh knowed no pickaninny life.
He started in a great big grown up man, an' whut is mo',
He nevuh had da right kind uf a wife.
Jes s'pose he'd had a Mammy when dat temptin' did begin
An' she'd a come an' tole him
"Son, don' eat dat--dat's a sin."

But, Adam nevuh had no Mammy fuh to take him on her knee
An' teach him right fum wrong an' show him
Things he ought to see.
I knows down in my heart he'd a let dat apple be,
But Adam nevuh had no dear old Ma-am-my.


_Bro. Simmons_

"Walk right in Brother Wilson--how you feelin' today?"

_Bro. Wilson_

"Jes Mod'rate, Brother Simmons, but den I ginnerly feels dat way."

_Bro. Simmons_

"Here's White an' Black an' Brown an' Green; how's all you gent'men's

_Bro. White_

"My health is good but my bus'ness slack."

_Bro. Black_

"I'se been suff'rin' lots wid pains in my back."

_Bro. Brown_

"My ole 'ooman's sick, but I'se alright--"

_Bro. Green_

"Yes, I went aftuh Doctuh fuh her 'tuther night--"

_Bro. Simmons_

"Here's Sandy Turner, as I live!"

_Bro. Turner_

"Yes, I didn' 'spect to git here--but here I is!"

_Bro. Simmons_

"Now, gent'mens, make yo'selves to home,
Dare's nothin' to fear--my ole 'ooman's gone--
My stars; da weather's pow'ful warm--
I wouldn' be s'prised ef we had a storm."

_Bro. Brown_

"No, Brother Simmons, we kin safely say--
'Tain't gwine to be no storm to-day
Kase here am facts dat's mighty plain
An' any time you sees 'em you kin look fuh rain:
Any time you hears da cheers an' tables crack
An' da folks wid rheumatics--dare jints is on da rack--"


"Lookout fuh rain, rain, rain.

"When da ducks quack loud an' da peacocks cry,
An' da far off hills seems to be right nigh,
Prepare fuh rain, rain, rain!

"When da ole cat on da hearth wid her velvet paws
'Gins to wipin' over her whiskered jaws,
Sho' sign o' rain, rain, rain!

"When da frog's done changed his yaller vest,
An' in his brown suit he is dressed,
Mo' rain, an' still mo' rain!

"When you notice da air it Stan's stock still,
An' da blackbird's voice it gits so awful shrill,
Dat am da time fuh rain.

"When yo' dog quits bones an' begins to fas',
An' when you see him eatin'; he's eatin' grass:
Shoes', trues', cert'nes sign ob rain!"


"No, Brother Simmons, we kin safely say,
'Tain't gwine tuh be no rain to-day,
Kase da sut ain't fallin' an' da dogs ain't sleep,
An' you ain't seen no spiders fum dare cobwebs creep;
Las' night da sun went bright to bed,
An' da moon ain't nevah once been seen to hang her head;
If you'se watched all dis, den you kin safely say,
Dat dare ain't a-gwine to be no rain to-day."

Waverley Turner Carmichael


Keep me 'neath Thy mighty wing,
Keep me, Jesus, keep me;
Help me praise Thy Holy name,
Keep me, Jesus, keep me.
O my Lamb, come, my Lamb,
O my good Lamb,
Save me, Jesus, save me.

Hear me as I cry to Thee;
Keep me, Jesus, keep me;
May I that bright glory see;
Keep me, Jesus, keep me.
O my Lamb, my good Lamb,
O my good Lamb,
Keep me, Jesus, keep me.


De winter days are drawin' nigh
An' by the fire I sets an' sigh;
De nothe'n win' is blowin' cold,
Like it done in days of old.

De yaller leafs are fallin' fas',
Fur summer days is been an' pas';
The air is blowin' mighty cold,
Like it done in days of old.

De frost is fallin' on de gras'
An' seem to say "Dis is yo' las'"--
De air is blowin' mighty cold
Like it done in days of old.

Alice Dunbar-Nelson


I had no thought of violets of late,
The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet
In wistful April days, when lovers mate
And wander through the fields in raptures sweet.
The thought of violets meant florists' shops,
And bows and pins, and perfumed papers fine;
And garish lights, and mincing little fops
And cabarets and songs, and deadening wine.
So far from sweet real things my thoughts had strayed,
I had forgot wide fields, and clear brown streams;
The perfect loveliness that God has made,--
Wild violets shy and Heaven-mounting dreams.
And now--unwittingly, you've made me dream
Of violets, and my soul's forgotten gleam.

Charles Bertram Johnson


Des a little cabin
Big ernuff fur two.
Des awaitin', honey,
Cozy fixt fur you;
Down dah by de road,
Not ve'y far from town,
Waitin' fur de missis,
When she's ready to come down.

Des a little cabin,
An' er acre o' groun',
Vines agrowin' on it,
Fruit trees all aroun',
Hollyhawks a-bloomin'
In de gyahden plot--
Honey, would you like to
Own dat little spot?

Make dat little cabin
Cheery, clean an' bright,
With an' angel in it
Like a ray of light?
Make dat little palace
Somethin' fine an' gran',
Make it like an Eden,
Fur a lonely man?

Des you listen, Honey,
While I 'splain it all,
How some lady's go'nter
Boss dat little hall;
Des you take my ban'
Dat's de way it's writ,
Des you take my heart,
Dat's de deed to it.


Full many lift and sing
Their sweet imagining;
Not yet the Lyric Seer,
The one bard of the throng,
With highest gift of song,
Breaks on our sentient ear.

Not yet the gifted child,
With notes enraptured, wild,
That storm and throng the heart,
To make his rage our own,
Our hearts his lyric throne;
Hard won by cosmic art.

I hear the sad refrain,
Of slavery's sorrow-strain;
The broken half-lispt speech
Of freedom's twilit hour;
The greater growing reach
Of larger latent power.

Here and there a growing note
Swells from a conscious throat;
Thrilled with a message fraught
The pregnant hour is near;
We wait our Lyric Seer,
By whom our wills are caught.

Who makes our cause and wrong
The motif of his song;
Who sings our racial good,
Bestows us honor's place,
The cosmic brotherhood
Of genius--not of race.

Blind Homer, Greek or Jew,
Of fame's immortal few
Would still be deathless born;
Frail Dunbar, black or white,
In Fame's eternal light,
Would shine a Star of Morn.

An unhorizoned range,
Our hour of doubt and change,
Gives song a nightless day,
Whose pen with pregnant mirth
Will give our longings birth,
And point our souls the way?

Otto Leland Bohanan


The Dawn's awake!
A flash of smoldering flame and fire
Ignites the East. Then, higher, higher,
O'er all the sky so gray, forlorn,
The torch of gold is borne.

The Dawn's awake!
The dawn of a thousand dreams and thrills.
And music singing in the hills
A paean of eternal spring
Voices the new awakening.

The Dawn's awake!
Whispers of pent-up harmonies,
With the mingled fragrance of the trees;
Faint snatches of half-forgotten song--
Fathers! torn and numb,--
The boon of light we craved, awaited long,
Has come, has come!


A great swart cheek and the gleam of tears,
The flutter of hopes and the shadow of fears,
And all day long the rub and scrub
With only a breath betwixt tub and tub.
Fool! Thou hast toiled for fifty years
And what hast thou now but thy dusty tears?
In silence she rubbed... But her face I had seen,
Where the light of her soul fell shining and clean.

Theodore Henry Shackelford


Come, children, hear the joyful sound,
Ding, Dong, Ding.
Go spread the glad news all around,
Ding, Dong, Ding.

Oh, the big bell's tollin' up in Zion,
The big bell's tollin' up in Zion,
The big bell's tollin' up in Zion,
Ding, Dong, Ding.

I've been abused and tossed about,
Ding, Dong, Ding.
But glory to the Lamb, I shout!
Ding, Dong, Ding.

My bruthah jus' sent word to me,
Ding, Dong, Ding.
That he'd done set his own self free.
Ding, Dong, Ding.

Ole massa said he could not go,
Ding, Dong, Ding.
But he's done reached Ohio sho'.
Ding, Dong, Ding.

Ise gwine to be real nice an' meek,
Ding, Dong, Ding.
Den I'll run away myself nex' week.
Ding, Dong, Ding.


Oh, the big bell's tollin' up in Zion,
The big bell's tollin' up in Zion,
The big bell's tollin' up in Zion,
Ding, Dong Ding.

Lucian B. Watkins


Out in the Night thou art the sun
Toward which thy soul-charmed children run,
The faith-high height whereon they see
The glory of their Day To Be--
The peace at last when all is done.

The night is dark but, one by one,
Thy signals, ever and anon,
Smile beacon answers to their plea,
Out in the Night.

Ah, Life! thy storms these cannot shun;
Give them a hope to rest upon,
A dream to dream eternally,
The strength of men who would be free
And win the battle race begun,
Out in the Night!


From this low-lying valley; Oh, how sweet
And cool and calm and great is life, I ween,
There on yon mountain-throne--that sun-gold crest!

From this uplifted, mighty mountain-seat:
How bright and still and warm and soft and green
Seems yon low lily-vale of peace and rest!


We've kept the faith. Our souls' high dreams
Untouched by bondage and its rod,
Burn on! and on! and on! It seems
We shall have FRIENDS--while God is God!

Benjamin Brawley


(_To Robert Gould Shaw_)

Flushed with the hope of high desire,
He buckled on his sword,
To dare the rampart ranged with fire,
Or where the thunder roared;
Into the smoke and flame he went,
For God's great cause to die--
A youth of heaven's element,
The flower of chivalry.

This was the gallant faith, I trow,
Of which the sages tell;
On such devotion long ago
The benediction fell;
And never nobler martyr burned,
Or braver hero died,
Than he who worldly honor spurned
To serve the Crucified.

And Lancelot and Sir Bedivere
May pass beyond the pale,
And wander over moor and mere
To find the Holy Grail;

But ever yet the prize forsooth
My hero holds in fee;
And he is Blameless Knight in truth,
And Galahad to me.


Gone are the sensuous stars, and manifold,
Clear sunbeams burst upon the front of night;
Ten thousand swords of azure and of gold
Give darkness to the dark and welcome light;
Across the night of ages strike the gleams,
And leading on the gilded host appears
An old man writing in a book of dreams,
And telling tales of lovers for the years;
Still Troilus hears a voice that whispers, Stay;
In Nature's garden what a mad rout sings!
Let's hear these motley pilgrims wile away
The tedious hours with stories of old things;
Or might some shining eagle claim
These lowly numbers for the House of Fame!

Joshua Henry Jones, Jr.


Ghastly, ghoulish, grinning skull,
Toothless, eyeless, hollow, dull,
Why your smirk and empty smile
As the hours away you wile?
Has the earth become such bore
That it pleases nevermore?
Whence your joy through sun and rain?
Is 't because of loss of pain?
Have you learned what men learn not
That earth's substance turns to rot?
After learning now you scan
Vain endeavors man by man?
Do you mind that you as they
Once was held by mystic sway;
Dreamed and struggled, hoped and prayed,
Lolled and with the minutes played?
Sighed for honors; battles planned;
Sipped of cups that wisdom banned
But would please the weak frail flesh;
Suffered, fell, 'rose, struggled fresh?
Now that you are but a skull
Glimpse you life as life is, full
Of beauties that we miss
Till time withers with his kiss?
Do you laugh in cynic vein
Since you cannot try again?
And you know that we, like you,
Will too late our failings rue?
Tell me, ghoulish, grinning skull
What deep broodings, o'er you mull?
Tell me why you smirk and smile
Ere I pass life's sunset stile.




_(En La Capilla)_

Si la suerte fatal que me ha cabido,
Y el triste fin de mi sangrienta historia,
Al salir de esta vida transitoria
Deja tu corazon de muerte herido;
Baste de Ilanto: el animo afligido
Recobre su quietud; moro en la gloria,
Y mi placida lira a tu memoria
Lanza en la tumba su postrer sonido.

Sonido dulce, melodioso y santo,
Glorioso, espiritual, puro y divino,
Inocente, espontaneo como el llanto
Que vertiera al nacer: ya el cuello inclino!
Ya de la religion me cubre el manto!
Adios, mi madre! adios--El Peligrino.


_(In the Chapel)_

The appointed lot has come upon me, mother,
The mournful ending of my years of strife,
This changing world I leave, and to another
In blood and terror goes my spirit's life.
But thou, grief-smitten, cease thy mortal weeping
And let thy soul her wonted peace regain;
I fall for right, and thoughts of thee are sweeping
Across my lyre to wake its dying strains.
A strain of joy and gladness, free, unfailing
All glorious and holy, pure, divine,
And innocent, unconscious as the wailing
I uttered on my birth; and I resign
Even now, my life, even now descending slowly,
Faith's mantle folds me to my slumbers holy.
Mother, farewell! God keep thee--and forever!

_Translated by William Cullen Bryant._


(_Written in the Chapel of the Hospital de Santa Cristina on the Night
Before His Execution_)

If the unfortunate fate engulfing me,
The ending of my history of grief,
The closing of my span of years so brief,
Mother, should wake a single pang in thee,
Weep not. No saddening thought to me devote;
I calmly go to a death that is glory-filled,
My lyre before it is forever stilled
Breathes out to thee its last and dying note.

A note scarce more than a burden-easing sigh,
Tender and sacred, innocent, sincere--
Spontaneous and instinctive as the cry
I gave at birth--And now the hour is here--
O God, thy mantle of mercy o'er my sins!
Mother, farewell! The pilgrimage begins.

_Translated by James Weldon Johnson_.


BOHANAN, OTTO LELAND. Born in Washington, D.C. Educated in the public
schools in Washington. He is a graduate of Howard University, School of
Liberal Arts, Washington, D.C., and did special work in English at the
Catholic University in that city. At present he is engaged in the musical
profession in New York.

BRAITHWAITE, WILLIAM STANLEY. Born in Boston, 1878. Mainly self-educated.
A critic of poetry and the friend of poets. Author of _Lyrics-of Life,
The House of Falling Leaves, The Poetic Year, The Story of the Great
War,_ etc. Editor and compiler of _The Book of Elizabethan Verse, The
Book of Georgian Verse, The Book of Restoration Verse_ and a series of
yearly anthologies of magazine verse. One of the literary editors of the
Boston _Transcript_.

BRAWLEY, BENJAMIN. Born at Columbia, S.C., 1882. Educated at the Atlanta
Baptist College, the University of Chicago and Harvard University. For two
years he was professor of English at Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Later he became dean of Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga. Author of _A
Short History of the American Negro, The Negro in Literature and Art, A
Short History of the English Drama, A Social History of the American
Negro_, etc. Now living in Boston and engaged in research and writing.

CAMPBELL, JAMES EDWIN. Was born at Pomeroy, Ohio, in the early sixties.
His early life was somewhat shrouded in mystery; he never referred to it
even to his closest associates. He was educated in the public schools of
his native city. Later he spent a while at Miami College. In the late
eighties and early nineties he was engaged in newspaper work in Chicago.
He wrote regularly on the various dailies of that city. He was also one of
a group that issued the _Four O'Clock Magazine_, a literary
publication which flourished for several years. He died, perhaps, twenty
years ago. He was the author of _Echoes from The Cabin and
Elsewhere_, a volume of poems.

CARMICHAEL, WAVERLEY TURNER. A young man who had never been out of his
native state of Alabama until several years ago when he entered one of the
summer courses at Harvard University. His education to that time had been
very limited and he had endured poverty and hard work. His verses came to
the attention of one of the Harvard professors. He has since published a
volume, _From the Heart of a Folk_. He served with the 367th
Regiment, "The Buffaloes," during the World War and saw active service in
France. At present he is employed as a postal clerk in Boston, Mass.

CORROTHERS, JAMES D., 1869-1919. Born in Cass County, Michigan. Student in
Northwestern University, minister and poet. Many of his poems appeared in
_The Century Magazine_.

COTTER, JOSEPH S., JR., 1895-1919. Born at Louisville, Kentucky, in the
room in which Paul Laurence Dunbar first read his dialect poems in the
South. He was precocious as a child, having read a number of books before
he was six years old. All through his boyhood he had the advantage and
inspiration of the full library of poetic books belonging to his father,
himself a poet of considerable talent. Young Cotter attended Fisk
University but left in his second year because he had developed
tuberculosis. A volume of verse, _The Band of Gideon_, and a number
of unpublished poems were written during the six years in which he was an

DANDRIDGE, RAY G. Born at Cincinnati, Ohio, 1882. Educated in the grammar
and high school of his native city. In 1912, as the result of illness, he
lost the use of both legs and his right arm. He does most of his writing
lying flat in bed and using his left hand. He is the author of _The Poet
and Other Poems_.

DAVIS, DANIEL WEBSTER. Born in Virginia, near Richmond. For a number of
years he was a minister and principal of the largest public school in
Richmond. He died in that city some years ago. He was the author of
_'Weh Down Souf_, a volume of verse. He was very popular as an orator
and a reader of his own poems.

DETT, R. NATHANIEL. Born at Drummondville, Canada, 1882. Graduate of the
Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He is a composer, most of his compositions
being based on themes from the old "slave songs." His "Listen to de Lambs"
is widely used by choral societies. He is director of music at Hampton
Institute. He is also the author of _The Album of a Heart_, a volume
of verse.

DU BOIS, W. E. BURGHARDT. Born at Great Barrington, Mass., 1868. Educated
at Fisk University, Harvard University and the University of Berlin. For a
number of years professor of economics and history at Atlanta University.
Author of the _Suppression of the Slave Trade, The Philadelphia Negro,
The Souls of Black Folk, John Brown, Darkwater_, etc. He is the editor
of _The Crisis_.

DUNBAR, PAUL LAURENCE. Born at Dayton, Ohio, 1872; died 1906. Dunbar was
educated in the public schools. He wrote his early poems while working as
an elevator boy. His first volume of poems, _Oak and Ivy_, was
published in 1893 and sold largely through his own efforts. This was
followed by _Majors and Minors, Lyrics of Lowly Life, Lyrics of the
Hearthside, Lyrics of Love and Laughter, Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow_
and _Howdy, Honey, Howdy_. _Lyrics of Lowly Life_, published in
New York in 1896 with an introduction written by William Dean Howells,
gained national recognition for Dunbar. In addition to poetical works,
Dunbar was the author of four novels, _The Uncalled, The Love of Landry,
The Sport of the Gods_, and _The Fanatics_. He also published
several volumes of short stories. Partly because of his magnificent voice
and refined manners, he was a very successful reader of his own poems and
was able to add greatly to their popularity.

FAUSET, JESSIE REDMON. Born at Snow Hill, New Jersey. She was educated in
the public schools of Philadelphia, at Cornell University and the
University of Pennsylvania. For a while she was teacher of French in the
Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C. Author of a number of uncollected
poems and several short stories. She is literary editor of _The

HILL, LESLIE PINCKNEY. Born at Lynchburg, Va., 1880. He was educated in
the public schools at Lynchburg and at Harvard University. On graduation
he became a teacher of English and methods at Tuskegee. Author of the
_Wings of Oppression_, a volume of verse. He is principal of the
Cheyney Training School for Teachers at Cheyney, Pa.

HOLLOWAY, JOHN WESLEY. Born in Merriweather County, Ga, 1865. His father,
who learned to read and write in slavery, became one of the first colored
teachers in Georgia after the Civil War. Mr. Holloway was educated at
Clark University, Atlanta, Ga., and at Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.
He was for a while a member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Has been a
teacher and is now a preacher. He is the author of _From the Desert_,
a volume of verse.

JAMISON, ROSCOE C. Born at Winchester, Tenn., 1888; died 1918. He was a
graduate of Fisk University.

JOHNSON, CHARLES BERTRAM. Born at Callao, Mo., 1880. He was educated in
the public schools of his home town and at Western College, Lincoln
Institute and at Chicago University. He was a teacher for a number of
years and is now a pastor of a church at Moberly, Mo. He is the author of
_Songs of My People_.

JOHNSON, FENTON. Born at Chicago, 1888. He was educated in the public
schools and at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. The
author of _A Little Dreaming, Songs of the Soil_ and _Visions of
the Dusk_. He has devoted much time to journalism and the editing of a

JOHNSON, GEORGIA DOUGLAS. Born in Atlanta, Ga., 1886. She was educated in
the public schools of that city and at Atlanta University. She is the
author of a volume of verse, _The Heart of a Woman_ and other poems.

JOHNSON, JAMES WELDON. Born at Jacksonville, Fla., 1871. He was educated
in the public schools of Jacksonville, at Atlanta University and at
Columbia University. He taught school in his native town for several
years. Later he came to New York with his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson,
and began writing for the musical comedy stage. He served seven years as
U. S. Consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Author of _The Autobiography of
an Ex-colored Man, Fifty Years and Other Poems_, and the English
libretto to _Goyescas_, the Spanish grand opera, produced at the
Metropolitan Opera House in 1915.

JONES, EDWARD SMYTH. Attracted national attention about ten years ago by
walking some hunderds of miles from his home in the South to Harvard
University. Arriving there, he was arrested on a charge of vagrancy. While
in jail, he wrote a poem, "Harvard Square." The poem created a sentiment
that led to his quick release. He is the author of _The Sylvan

JONES, JOSHUA HENRY, JR. He is engaged in newspaper work in Boston and is
the author of a volume of poems, _The Heart of the World_.

MARGETSON, GEORGE REGINALD. Was born at St. Kitts, British West Indies, in
1877. He was educated at the Moravian school in his district. He came to
the United States in 1897. Mr. Margetson has found it necessary to work
hard to support a large family and his poems have been written in his
spare moments. He is the author of two volumes of verses, _Songs of
Life_ and _The Fledgling Bard and the Poetry Society_ and, in
addition, a large number of uncollected poems. Mr. Margetson lives in

McCLELLAN, GEORGE MARION. Born at Belfast, Tenn., 1860. Graduate of Fisk
University and Hartford Theological Seminary, teacher, principal and
author. He is the author of _The Path of Dreams_.

McKAY, CLAUDE. Born in Jamaica, West Indies, 1889. Such education as he
gained in boyhood he received from his brother. He served for a while as a
member of the Kingston Constabulary. In 1912 he came to the United States.
For two years he was a student of agriculture at the Kansas State College.
Since leaving school Mr. McKay has turned his hand to any kind of work to
earn a living. He has worked in hotels and on the Pullman cars. He is
to-day associate editor of _The Liberator_. He is the author of two
volumes of poems, _Songs of Jamaica_ and _Spring in New
Hampshire_, the former published in Jamaica and the latter in London.

MOORE; WILLIAM H. A. Was born in New York City and received his education
in the public schools and at the City College. He also did some special
work at Columbia University. He has had a long career as a newspaper man,
working on both white and colored publications. He now lives in Chicago.
He is the author of _Dusk Songs_, a volume of poems.

NELSON, ALICE MOORE (DUNBAR). Born at New Orleans, La., 1875. She was
educated in the schools of New Orleans and has taken special courses at
Cornell University, Columbia University, and the University of
Pennsylvania. Author of _Violets and Other Tales, The Goodness of St.
Rocque, Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence_, and _The Dunbar
Speaker_. She was married to Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1898. She has been
a teacher and is well known on the lecture platform and as an editor.

ROGERS, ALEX. Born at Nashville, Tenn., 1876. Educated in the public
schools of that city. For many years a writer of words for popular songs.
He wrote many of the songs for the musical comedies in which Williams and
Walker appeared. He is the author of _The Jonah Man, Nobody_ and
other songs made popular by Mr. Bert Williams.

SHACKELFORD, THEODORE HENRY. Author of _Mammy's Cracklin' Bread and
Other Poems_, and _My Country and Other Poems_.

SPENCER, ANNE. Born in Bramwell, W. Va., 1882. Educated at the Virginia
Seminary, Lynchburg, Va. She lives at Lynchburg and takes great pride and
pleasure in her garden.

WATKINS, LUCIAN B., was born in Virginia. He served overseas in the great
war and lost his health. He died in 1921. He was the author of a large
number of uncollected poems.


After the Winter
And What Shall You Say?
At the Carnival
At the Closed Gate of Justice

Band of Gideon, The
Banjo Player, The
Barrier, The
Before the Feast of Shushan
Big Bell in Zion, The
Black Mammies
Butterfly in Church, A

Calling the Doctor
Children of the Sun
Christmas at Melrose
Christmas Eve in France
Corn Song, The
Creation, The
Cunjah Man, De

Dawn's Awake! The
Dead Fires
Death Song, A
Debt, The
Del Cascar
Dogwood Blossoms
Dream and the Song
Drum Majah, De
Dusk Song

Feet of Judas, The
Fifty Years

Harlem Dancer, The
Harlem Shadows
Haunted Oak, The
Heart of a Woman, The
Hills of Sewanee, The
Hog Meat

If We Must Die
Indignation Dinner, An
In the Matter of Two Men
Ironic: LL.D.
Is It Because I Am Black?
'Ittle Touzle Head
It Was Not Fate
I Want to Die While You Love Me

Keep Me, Jesus, Keep Me

La Vie C'est la Vie
Litany of Atlanta, A
Little Brown Baby
Little Cabin, A
Lost Illusions
Lover's Lane
Lynching, The

Miss Melerlee
Mother Night
My Hero
My Little Dreams

Negro Love Song, A
Negro Poets

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