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

Claude McKay, "Russian Cathedral" (1925)


Bow down my soul in worship very low
And in the holy silences be lost.
Bow down before the marble man of woe,
Bow down before the singing angel host.
What jewelled glory fills my spirit’s eye!
What golden grandeur moves the depths of me!
The soaring arches lift me up on high
Taking my breath with their rare symmetry.
Bow down my soul and let the wondrous light
Of Beauty bathe thee from her lofty throne
Bow down before the wonder of man’s might.
Bow down in worship, humble and alone;
Bow lowly down before the sacred sight
Of man’s divinity alive in stone.

Published in Survey Graphic, March 1925
Also published in The New Negro: an Interpretation, 1925
Also published in Caroling Dusk, 1927

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