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

Countee Cullen, "Mary, Mother of Christ" (1924)

Editor's Note: This poem was originally published in The Crisis in March 1924. Cullen slightly revised the poem before republishing it in Color. 

1925 version: 

That night she felt those searching hands
Grip deep upon her breast,
She laughed and sang a silly tune
To lull her babe to rest;

That night she kissed his coral lips
How could she know the rest?

1924 version: 

That night I felt His searching hands
   Grip deep upon my breast,
I laughted ans sang a silly tune
   About a golden quest;
That night I kissed his coral lips,--
   How could I know the rest?

Published in The Crisis, March 1924
Also published in Color, 1925

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