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.

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.

A PRAYER

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.

AND WHAT SHALL YOU SAY?

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?

IS IT BECAUSE I AM BLACK?

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

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.”

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