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

James Weldon Johnson, "The Glory of the Day Was in Her Face" (1917)

    The glory of the day was in her face,
    The beauty of the night was in her eyes.
    And over all her loveliness, the grace
    Of Morning blushing in the early skies.
    And in her voice, the calling of the dove;
    Like music of a sweet, melodious part.
    And in her smile, the breaking light of love;
    And all the gentle virtues in her heart.
    And now the glorious day, the beauteous night,
    The birds that signal to their mates at dawn,
    To my dull ears, to my tear-blinded sight
    Are one with all the dead, since she is gone.

Published in Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917)
Also printed in Caroling Dusk (1927)