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.

The lightnings flash and the thunders roll,
And “Lord have mercy on my soul,”
Cry men as they fall on the stricken sod,
In agony searching for their God. 
         Each black cloud
         Is a fiery steed. 
         And they cry aloud
         With each strong deed,
“The sword of the Lord and Gideon.”

And men repent and then forget
That heavenly wrath they ever met,
The band of Gideon yet will come
And strike their tongues of blasphemy dumb. 
         Each black cloud
         Is a fiery steed. 
         And they cry aloud
         With each strong deed,
“The sword of the Lord and Gideon.”


On the dusty earth-drum
  Beats the falling rain;
Now a whispered murmur,
  Now a louder strain.

Slender, silvery drumsticks,
  On an ancient drum,
Beat the mellow music
  Bidding life to come.

Chords of earth awakened,
  Notes of greening spring,
Rise and fall triumphant
  Over every thing.

Slender, silvery drumsticks
  Beat the long tattoo—­
God, the Great Musician,
  Calling life anew.


I am so tired and weary,
  So tired of the endless fight,
So weary of waiting the dawn
  And finding endless night.

That I ask but rest and quiet—­
  Rest for days that are gone,
And quiet for the little space
  That I must journey on.

    Roscoe C. Jamison


These truly are the Brave,
These men who cast aside
Old memories, to walk the blood-stained pave
Of Sacrifice, joining the solemn tide
That moves away, to suffer and to die
For Freedom—­when their own is yet denied! 
O Pride!  O Prejudice!  When they pass by,
Hail them, the Brave, for you now crucified!

These truly are the Free,
These souls that grandly rise
Above base dreams of vengeance for their wrongs,
Who march to war with visions in their eyes
Of Peace through Brotherhood, lifting glad songs,
Aforetime, while they front the firing line. 
Stand and behold!  They take the field to-day,
Shedding their blood like Him now held divine,
That those who mock might find a better way!

    Jessie Fauset


On summer afternoons I sit
Quiescent by you in the park,
And idly watch the sunbeams gild
And tint the ash-trees’ bark.

Or else I watch the squirrels frisk
And chaffer in the grassy lane;
And all the while I mark your voice
Breaking with love and pain.

I know a woman who would give
Her chance of heaven to take my place;
To see the love-light in your eyes,
The love-glow on your face!

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