The Book of American Negro Poetry eBook

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

SPRIN’ FEVAH

Dar’s a lazy, sortah hazy
Feelin’ grips me, thoo an’ thoo;
An’ I feels lak doin’ less dan enythin’;
Dough de saw is sharp an’ greasy,
Dough de task et han’ is easy,
An’ de day am fair an’ breezy,
Dar’s a thief dat steals embition in de win’.

Kaint defy it, kaint deny it,
Kaze it jes won’t be denied;
Its a mos’ pursistin’ stubbern sortah thin’;
Anti Tox’ doan neutrolize it;
Doctahs fail to analyze it;
So I yiel’s (dough I despise it)
To dat res’less, wretchit fevah evah Sprin’.

DE DRUM MAJAH

He’s struttin’ sho ernuff,
Wearin’ a lady’s muff
En’ ways erpon his head,
Red coat ob reddest red,
Purtty white satin ves’,
Gole braid ercross de ches’;
Goo’ness! he cuts a stunt,
Prancin’ out dar in frunt,
    Leadin’ his ban’.

Wen dat ah whistle blows,
Each man behine him knows
‘Zacklee whut he mus’ do;
You bet! he dues it, too. 
W’en dat brass stick he twirls,
Ole maids an’ lub-sick gurls
Looks on wid longin’ eyes,
Dey simpley idolize
    Dat han’sum man.

Sweet fife an’ piccalo,
Bofe warblin’ sof an’ lo’
Slide ho’n an’ saxophones,
Jazz syncopated tones,
Snare drum an’ lead cornet,
Alto an’ clarinet,
Las’, but not least, dar cum
Cymbals an’ big bass drum—­
    O! whut a ban’!

Cose, we all undahstan’
Each piece he’ps maik de ban’,
But dey all mus’ be led,
Sum one mus’ be de head: 
No doubt, de centipede
Has all de laigs he need,
But take erway de head,
Po’ centipede am dead;
    So am de ban’.

    Fenton Johnson

CHILDREN OF THE SUN

We are children of the sun,
  Rising sun! 
Weaving Southern destiny,
Waiting for the mighty hour
When our Shiloh shall appear
With the flaming sword of right,
With the steel of brotherhood,
And emboss in crimson die
Liberty!  Fraternity!

We are the star-dust folk,
  Striving folk! 
Sorrow songs have lulled to rest;
Seething passions wrought through wrongs,
Led us where the moon rays dip
In the night of dull despair,
Showed us where the star gleams shine,
And the mystic symbols glow—­
Liberty!  Fraternity!

We have come through cloud and mist,
  Mighty men! 
Dusk has kissed our sleep-born eyes,
Reared for us a mystic throne
In the splendor of the skies,
That shall always be for us,
Children of the Nazarene,
Children who shall ever sing
Liberty!  Fraternity!

THE NEW DAY

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: 

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