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

Georgia Douglas Johnson, "I Want to Die While You Love Me" (1922)

I want to die while you love me,
While yet you hold me fair,
While Laughter lies upon my lips
And lights are in my hair.

I want to die while you love me
And bear to that still bed
Your kisses turbulent, unspent
To warm me when I’m dead.

I want to die while you love me;
Oh, who would care to live
Till love has nothing more to ask
And nothing more to give?

I want to die while you love me,
And never, never see
The glory of this perfect day
Grow dim, or cease to be!


Published in the Book of American Negro Poetry (1922)
Also published in Caroling Dusk (1927)