African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Fenton Johnson, "The Creed of the Slave" (1915

THE CREED OF THE SLAVE.
1.

Ah lubs de worl'. — Kain't he'p it, dat's mah way.
Futh'mo' Ah lubs de night, Ah lubs de day,
Ah lubs de suff'rin' crittuhs dat Gawd made,
De li'l 'uns playin' 'near de locus' shade,
Ah lubs de shadduhs by de gret big road,
Ah lubs to tote wid me de hebby load
Thoo'all de live long night an' thoo' de day.
Ah lubs de worl'. — Kain't he'p it, dat's mah way.

2.

Go crack yo' whups, an' break dis flesh o' mine,
Ah ain't a-gwine tuh, leave dis love behin';
Ah wu'k an' bleed fu' dose dat hu't me mos',
But in de mawnin' w'en Ah am a ghos'
Ah pray de Lawd dat you kin come up daih
An' play wid me erpon de golden staih.
Ah lubs you all, po' suff'rin' clay; —
Ah lubs de worl'. — Kain't he'p it, dat's mah way.


Published in Visions of the Dusk 1915

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