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

James D. Corrothers, "Up! Sing the Song" (1913)

I am a Negro, but I sing and sing,
   Burning with kiss divine that made me so.
   O brother mortal, likest to the snow,
Turn not in coldness from the song I bring,
But listen to my lyre's low murmuring,
   Where down the cypresses I sadly go,
   Through deepening twilight, lest the faint winds know
The secret of some tender little thing
That haunts and haunts me, and they tell it all--
   All, all my sorrows and ambitious, too.
For these 'oercome me; these, through dreamy fall,
   Keep calling, calling; beckoning, as to you:
'Up! Sing the song! Men shall forget your race,
Nor blush to keep the image of your face.'

Published in The Crisis, May 1913

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