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

Benjamin Griffith Brawley, "Shakespeare" (1915)

I thought how ofte the great gray god of years,
Swinging adown the dark abysm of time,
Some lamp portentous in the dimness rears,
Some taper high, ineffable, sublime:
Now darts a gleam faint thrilling through the deep,
And now a glimmer from archangels' wings;
And then once more the mighty aeons sleep,
Lost in the slumber that the darkness brings;
And then I creamed of one Promethean light,
That, throbbing, as a mystic searchlight blazed
Through all the caverns. Nature leaped in might
To greet the signal from the rampart raised;
Her innocent heart at last a flame inquired;
And one by one all other lights expired. 

Published in The Crisis, May 1915

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