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

Georgia Douglas Johnson, "Recessional" (1927)

Consider me a memory, a dream that passed away;
Or yet a flower that has blown and shattered in a day;
For passion sleeps alas and keeps no vigil with the years
And wakens to no conjuring of orisons or tears.

Consider me a melody that served its simple turn,
Or but the residue of fire that settles in the urn,
For love defies pure reasoning and undeterred flows
Within, without, the vassal heart—its reasoning who knows?

Published in Caroling Dusk, 1927