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

George Leonard Allen, "To a Negro Musician" (1927)

To A Negro Musician
By George Leonard Allen 

Brown slender fingers on the ivory keys,
What is the strange alluring theme you play?
Whence came those rhythms, wild and sad and gay,
And whence those weird, exotic harmonies?
Where did you find such cadences as these
Which seem, in fierce abandon, to portray
The rhythmic beat of tom-toms far away,
The wild wind sighing through the jungle trees?

Thrilled by the subtle magic of your spell,
Methinks I see fantastic scenes arise
Of weird, strange dances in some sunlit dell
Beneath the splendor of the tropic skies;
And fancy bears me far across the earth
To lands of endless sunshine, love and mirth!

Published in Opportunity, June 1927

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