African American Poetry (1870-1927): A Digital Anthology

Fenton Johnson, "Puck Goes to Court" (1927)

PUCK GOES TO COURT

I WENT to court last night,
Before me firefly light;
And there was Lady Mab,
On cheek a cunning dab
Of rouge the sun sent down,
King Oberon with crown
Of gold eyed daisy buds
Among potato spuds
Was dancing roundelay
With Lady Chloe and May.
I hid among the flowers
And spent the wee young hours
In mixing up the punch;
For I was on a hunch
That sober men are dull
And fairy dust will lull
To rest the plodding mind
Worn down by life's thick grind.
The nobles drank the brew
And called it sweetest dew;
But when I left they lay
Stunned by the light of day
And Oberon had writ
Decree that I must flit
A hundred leagues from court.
(Alas! Where is there sport?)

Published in Caroling Dusk1927