The Book of American Negro Poetry eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about The Book of American Negro Poetry.

Sit no longer blind, Lord God, deaf to our prayer and dumb to our dumb suffering.  Surely Thou too art not white, O Lord, a pale, bloodless, heartless thing?
  Ah!  Christ of all the Pities!

Forgive the thought!  Forgive these wild, blasphemous words.  Thou art still the God of our black fathers, and in Thy soul’s soul sit some soft darkenings of the evening, some shadowings of the velvet night.

But whisper—­speak—­call, great God, for Thy silence is white terror to our hearts!  The way, O God, show us the way and point us the path.

Whither?  North is greed and South is blood; within, the coward, and without, the liar.  Whither?  To death?
  Amen!  Welcome dark sleep!

Whither?  To life?  But not this life, dear God, not this.  Let the cup pass from us, tempt us not beyond our strength, for there is that clamoring and clawing within, to whose voice we would not listen, yet shudder lest we must, and it is red, Ah!  God!  It is a red and awful shape.

In yonder East trembles a star.
  Vengeance is mine; I mill repay, saith the Lord!

Thy will, O Lord, be done!
  Kyrie Eleison!

Lord, we have done these pleading, wavering words.
  We beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord!

We bow our heads and hearken soft to the sobbing of women and little
  We beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord!

Our voices sink in silence and in night.
  Hear us, good Lord!

In night, O God of a godless land!

In silence, O Silent God.

    George Marion McClellan


To dreamy languors and the violet mist
  Of early Spring, the deep sequestered vale
Gives first her paling-blue Miamimist,
  Where blithely pours the cuckoo’s annual tale
Of Summer promises and tender green,
  Of a new life and beauty yet unseen. 
The forest trees have yet a sighing mouth,
  Where dying winds of March their branches swing,
While upward from the dreamy, sunny South,
  A hand invisible leads on the Spring.

His rounds from bloom to bloom the bee begins
  With flying song, and cowslip wine he sups,
Where to the warm and passing southern winds,
  Azaleas gently swing their yellow cups. 
Soon everywhere, with glory through and through,
  The fields will spread with every brilliant hue. 
But high o’er all the early floral train,
  Where softness all the arching sky resumes,
The dogwood dancing to the winds’ refrain,
  In stainless glory spreads its snowy blooms.


What dost thou here, thou shining, sinless thing,
With many colored hues and shapely wing? 
Why quit the open field and summer air
To flutter here?  Thou hast no need of prayer.

Project Gutenberg
The Book of American Negro Poetry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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