African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Benjamin Griffith Brawley, "Prayer-Bells" (1901)

When with itself the soul communion holds ,
   And speaks none other than itself and God ;
   When in the silence it doth grope and plod—
Its way thick dark till God his thoughts unfolds ;
When like unto himself the Maker molds
   Us more and more , and all the selfish clod
   Of sin recedes to ways now long since trod—
Then, when the better -self the whole enfolds ,
How sweet the distant pealing of the bells ,
   Far -sounding , whose low echo sways the soul
      And calls to meditation and to prayer!
Soft, sweet the melody that from those cells
   Goes forth to soothe the heart and onward roll
      To die upon the bosom of the air.

Published in Colored American Magazine, July 1901

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