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

Helene Johnson, "What Do I Care For Morning?" (1927)


What do I care for morning,
For a shivering aspen tree,
For sun flowers and sumac
Opening greedily?
What do I care for morning,
For the glare of the rising sun,
For a sparrow's noisy prating,
For another day begun?
Give me the beauty of evening,
The cool consummation of night,
And the moon like a love-sick lady,
Listless and wan and white.
Give me a little valley
Huddled beside a hill,
Like a monk in a monastery,
Safe and contented and still,
Give me the white road glistening,
A strand of the pale moon's hair,
And the tall hemlocks towering
Dark as the moon is fair.
Oh what do I care for morning,
Naked and newly born--
Night is here, yielding and tender--
What do I care for dawn!

Published in Caroling Dusk, 1927

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