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

Mary Washington, "Jubilee Singers" (1928)

Jubilee Singers
Dedicated to the sweet-voiced singers of Fisk, Nashville, Tennessee.

By Mary Washington

Mellow notes,
Vibrant with the echoes of an old forgotten song;
Sweet and low,
Swinging so,
Breaking forth like summer winds that gaily sweep along.

Blending like the colours of the rosy-fingered dawn,
Measured time,
Tones sublime
Gentle as an April shower pattering on a lawn.

Bass alone,
A swelling moan,
“All you little chillen bettah git on bo’d!”
“Bye and bye,
B’yon’ de sky,
Ise sholy gwine a lay down mah heavy, heavy load.”

Smiles and tears,
Hopes and fears,
“Lawd ha’ mercy on me an’ I hope I'll jine de ban’.”
“Glory hallelu!
Gwine a put on mah shoe,
And walk all ober heb’n jus’ a singin’ thro’ de lan.”

Mellow notes,
Fluted throats,
Whispering the chorus of an old forgotten song,
Sweet and low,
Swinging so,
Sighing like the evening breeze that gently sweeps along.

Published in The Crisis, February 1928

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