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

The zones of warmth around his heart,
  No alien airs had crossed;
But he awoke one morn to feel
  The magic numbness of autumnal frost.

His thoughts were a loose skein of threads,
  And tangled emotions, vague and dim;
And sacrificing what he loved
  He lost the dearest part of him.

In sculptured worship now he lives,
  His one desire a prisoned ache;
If he can never melt again
  His very heart will break.

II

Laughing It Out

He had a whim and laughed it out
  Upon the exit of a chance;
He floundered in a sea of doubt—­
  If life was real—­or just romance.

Sometimes upon his brow would come
  A little pucker of defiance;
He totalled in a word the sum
  Of all man made of facts and science.

And then a hearty laugh would break,
  A reassuring shrug of shoulder;
And we would from his fancy take
  A faith in death which made life bolder.

III

Exit

No, his exit by the gate
  Will not leave the wind ajar;
He will go when it is late
  With a misty star.

One will call, he cannot see;
  One will call, he will not hear;
He will take no company
  Nor a hope or fear.

We shall smile who loved him so—­
  They who gave him hate will weep;
But for us the winds will blow
  Pulsing through his sleep.

IV

The Way

He could not tell the way he came,
  Because his chart was lost: 
Yet all his way was paved with flame
  From the bourne he crossed.

He did not know the way to go,
  Because he had no map: 
He followed where the winds blow,—­
  And the April sap.

He never knew upon his brow
  The secret that he bore,—­
And laughs away the mystery now
  The dark’s at his door.

V

Onus Probandi

No more from out the sunset,
  No more across the foam,
No more across the windy hills
  Will Sandy Star come home.

He went away to search it
  With a curse upon his tongue: 
And in his hand the staff of life,
  Made music as it swung.

I wonder if he found it,
  And knows the mystery now—­
Our Sandy Star who went away,
  With the secret on his brow.

DEL CASCAR

Del Cascar, Del Cascar,
Stood upon a flaming star,
Stood, and let his feet hang down
Till in China the toes turned brown.

And he reached his fingers over
The rim of the sea, like sails from Dover,
And caught a Mandarin at prayer,
And tickled his nose in Orion’s hair.

The sun went down through crimson bars,
And left his blind face battered with stars—­
But the brown toes in China kept
Hot the tears Del Cascar wept.

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