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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 109 pages of information about The Book of American Negro Poetry.

DREAM AND THE SONG

So oft our hearts, beloved lute,
In blossomy haunts of song are mute;
So long we pore, ’mid murmurings dull,
O’er loveliness unutterable. 
So vain is all our passion strong! 
The dream is lovelier than the song.

The rose thought, touched by words, doth turn
Wan ashes.  Still, from memory’s urn,
The lingering blossoms tenderly
Refute our wilding minstrelsy. 
Alas! we work but beauty’s wrong! 
The dream is lovelier than the song.

Yearned Shelley o’er the golden flame? 
Left Keats for beauty’s lure, a name
But “writ in water”?  Woe is me! 
To grieve o’er flowerful faery. 
My Phasian doves are flown so long—­
The dream is lovelier than the song!

Ah, though we build a bower of dawn,
The golden-winged bird is gone,
And morn may gild, through shimmering leaves,
Only the swallow-twittering eaves. 
What art may house or gold prolong
A dream far lovelier than a song?

The lilting witchery, the unrest
Of winged dreams, is in our breast;
But ever dear Fulfilment’s eyes
Gaze otherward.  The long-sought prize,
My lute, must to the gods belong. 
The dream is lovelier than the song.

    Daniel Webster Davis

’WEH DOWN SOUF

O, de birds ar’ sweetly singin’,
  ’Weh down Souf,
An’ de banjer is a-ringin’,
  ’Weh down Souf;
An’ my heart it is a-sighin’,
Whil’ de moments am a-flyin’,
Fur my hom’ I am a-cryin’,
  ’Weh down Souf.

Dar de pickaninnies ‘s playin’,
  ’Weh down Souf,
An’ fur dem I am a-prayin’,
  ’Weh down Souf;
An’ when I gits sum munny,
Yo’ kin bet I’m goin’, my hunny,
Fur de lan’ dat am so sunny,
  ’Weh down Souf.

Whil’ de win’ up here’s a-blowin’,
  ’Weh down Souf
De corn is sweetly growin’,
  ’Weh down Souf. 
Dey tells me here ub freedum,
But I ain’t a-gwine to heed um,
But I’se gwine fur to lebe um,
  Fur ’weh down Souf.

I bin up here a-wuckin’,
  From ’weh down Souf,
An’ I ain’t a bin a-shurkin’—­
  I’m frum ’weh down Souf;
But I’m gittin’ mighty werry,
An’ de days a-gittin’ drerry,
An’ I’m hongry, O, so berry,
  Fur my hom’ down Souf.

O, de moon dar shines de brighter,
  ’Weh down Souf,
An’ I know my heart is lighter,
  ’Weh down Souf;
An’ de berry thought brings pledjur,
I’ll be happy dar ’dout medjur,
Fur dar I hab my tredjur,
  ’Weh down Souf.

HOG MEAT

Deze eatin’ folks may tell me ub de gloriz ub spring lam’,
An’ de toofsumnis ub tuckey et wid cel’ry an’ wid jam;
Ub beef-st’ak fried wid unyuns, an’ sezoned up so fine—­
But you’ jes’ kin gimme hog-meat, an’ I’m happy all de time.

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