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

Joseph S. Cotter, Jr., "The Deserter" (1927)


I know not why or whence he came
   Or how he chanced to go;
I only know he brought me love
   And going, left me woe.

I do not ask that he turn back,
   Nor seek where he may rove;
For where woe rules can never be
   The dwelling place of love.

For love went out the door of hope,
   And on and on has fled;
Caring no more to dwell within
   The house where faith is dead.

Published in Caroling Dusk, 1927