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

Carrie Williams Clifford, "Sorrow Songs" 1927)

Sorrow Songs

Carrie Clifford 

Oh, haunting melodies of grief and pain;
Oh, heart-wrung agonies distilled in song;
Oh, moving minors—weird, pathetic strain;
Oh, trembling cries forced by the cruel thong
Of Hate! Oh whisperings of hope and faith,
Breathing fidelity to Unseen Love,
From bleeding, bruised souls lashed to the earth;
Oh, soft appealing moans, potent to move
Upon the calloused hearts of world-worn men;
Sweet voices of my brothers from the past
Dark night of slavery, dread era when
These little ones were in its power held fast;
Sad Sorrow Songs, you yet shall come to be
Brave shouts of victory from Souls set free!

Published in The Crisis, June 1927

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