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

Carrie Williams Clifford, "Deceived" (1922)

To war I gave my first-born, debonair
And over-flowing with the joy of life!
His heart was empty of all thought of strife--
He dreamed of radiant life devoid of care.
When next Columbia called I gave--I gave--
My little lad, my babe, my youngest-born,
Full of the light and promise of the morn,
And ready his beloved land to save.
These two I gave, my first-born and my last,
The Alpha and Omega of my love's dream,
So rudely shattered by war's lurid gleam
My all into her seething cauldron cast!
Whose--whose the condemnation then, if I
Shame the false lips that lured them with a lie?

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