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

Fenton Johnson, "The Mulatto's Song" (1913)

The Mulatto's Song


Die, you vain but sweet desires!
Die, you living, burning fires!
I am like a prince of France, —
Like a prince whose noble sires
Have been robbed of heritage;
I am phantom derelict,
Drifting on a flaming sea.


Everywhere I go, I strive,
Vainly strive for greater things;
Daisies die, and stars are cold,
And canary never sings;
Where I go they mock my name,
Never grant me liberty,
Chance to breathe and chance to do.

Published in A Little Dreaming (1913)

This page has tags: