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

Carrie Williams Clifford (Carrie W. Clifford), "Apology" (1927)

By Carrie W. Clifford

Forgive me that my voice is low,
And charged with sorrow my brief song,
For I must sing—though brokenly,
Who have been mute so long! 

I cannot run the gamut through,
The compass of my voice is small,
My range is slight, but I must heed
My heart's insistent call!

These flutings, faint, a portent are,
Of what the future years may bring,
When soaring high, unfettered, free,
My 'raptured soul shall sing!

And though this plaintive pleading now,
Irks with its minor, wistful wailing,
You feel the passion, sense the power,
Which yet may prove availing.

For caught within my simple song.
Is zealous ardor, fervent feeling;
And deep emotion's cleansing flame,
My burgeoning self revealing.

Published in Carolina Magazine, May 1927

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